On Wednesday, July 29 2020, Donald Pickering, loving husband, father, brother, grandfather and great-grandfather passed away peacefully at the age 88.
Don was born on November 13, 1931 in Nebraska City, NE to Vern and Clara Pickering. He was the eldest of 5 children. He graduated from Nebraska City High School in 1950, where he lettered in track, football, and basketball. He went on to fulfill his Bachelor of Arts degree at Peru State College, and subsequently earned two Masters degrees in education.
As an Airman 1st Class in the Air Force, Don served active duty during the Korean War.
Don was instrumental in forming the Nebraska State School for the Blind and Handicapped, and dedicated 38 years of service to blind and handicapped children in Nebraska and Kansas. He retired as Principal for the Kansas State School for the Blind in May 1995.
Don met his beloved wife, Marcia (Peterson) Pickering while in high school, and they were wed on April 10, 1955 in Nebraska City. They were married for 42 years, raising two children, Mary Elizabeth and Joseph Donald Pickering.
Don and Marcia spent several years in Fort Collins, CO, prior to settling down in rural Missouri, where they had hoped to spend their “happily ever after.”
A skilled musician, in his younger years, he enjoyed playing the stand-up bass in his father’s band “Pick and his Tophatters.” He also enjoyed wildlife photography and fishing, and was a talented carpenter, even building the first home he shared with Marcia in Nebraska City. After retirement, he and Marcia kept busy tending to their acreage, spending time with their children and grandchildren, and always preparing for their next craft fair.
Following Marcia’s sudden passing in 1997, Don found joy in amateur radio, making connections with ham operators all over the world. He cherished the camaraderie with his group of amateur radio friends known as “The Kadiddlehoppers.”
Don will be remembered for his sweet smile and joyous laugh, his kind demeanor and compassion, his goal-oriented spirit, and his willingness to lend a hand whenever duty called.
Donald was preceded in death by his father and mother, Vern and Clara, his brother David, his wife Marcia, his daughter Mary, and his granddaughter Suzanne.
He is survived by his son Joe, his brothers Charlie and Jack, and his sister Sally.
He was a loving grandfather to nine grandchildren and numerous great-grandchildren. Don was the ideal All-American guy. Those with whom he was close, certainly knew they were loved. He will be missed more than he’ll ever know.
Don wished to be laid to rest beside his dear Marcia. The interment of ashes ceremony will be held in the Spring 2021 at Wyuka Cemetery in Nebraska City. Details to follow.
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