Donald Paul Oedekerk

Died: Thu., Aug. 18, 2016


Visitation

9:30 AM to 11:00 AM, Tue., Aug. 16, 2016
Location: St. Therese Little Flower Catholic Church


Celebration of Life

11:00 AM Tue., Aug. 16, 2016
Location: St. Therese Little Flower Catholic Church


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Music by The Piano Brothers


 Donald P. Oedekerk

Feb. 2, 1933 - July 18, 2016

SOUTH BEND - Donald Paul Oedekerk, 83, of South Bend, died peacefully on July 18 at Morningview Assisted Living following a long journey with dementia. Family was gathered to share prayers and stories to celebrate his life. Don was born February 2, 1933, in Mishawaka, to the late Bernadette (Wachs) and Paul N. Oedekerk, and was a lifetime area resident. He was also preceded in death by his son, Donald Paul Oedekerk, Jr. in 1997. On January 4, 1958, in South Bend, he married Sharlee Cissell, who survives. Also surviving are his daughter, Jan Oedekerk Spalding (Andy) of Mishawaka; daughter-in-law, Laura Oedekerk of Mishawaka; and five grandchildren, Paul and Paige Oedekerk and David, Annie and Scout Spalding. His sister, Kay Wetmore of Tucson, AZ, also survives.

The “Man for All Seasons,” as his friends have called him, leaves behind a legacy of music, athleticism and good times. Avid hunter, fisherman, water and snow skier, cyclist and even a pilot of his own plane, he was an outdoorsman through and through.

Don thrived on his time with Sharlee, good friends, and the tenor banjo that traveled with them from the Swiss Alps to Boyne Mountain, sharing laughs and making new friends wherever they were.

Don graduated from John Adams High School in 1950 and attended Indiana University, then came home to help his father run the family tool and die business. A talented salesman with keen foresight, Don continually grew Parrish Machine Company, building a new plant in the Airport Industrial Park in 1968. He was a strong advocate for hands-on machine apprenticeships that were enhanced with a structured academic curriculum. He also served a term as president of the local Tool & Die Association. In 1982, he welcomed his son Donny to the business and in 1985 was proud to be the Best Man in his son's wedding.

“Grandpa Oede” loved to entertain his five grandchildren with his music and fun.

A celebration of Don's life will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Tuesday, August 16, 2016, at Little Flower Catholic Church, 54191 Ironwood Road, South Bend, IN. The family will receive friends at the church from 9:30 a.m. until the service.

Memorial contributions in Don's name may be made to Indiana University School of Medicine, Department of Neurology for Frontotemporal Dementia, IU Foundation, P.O. Box 7072, Indianapolis, IN 46207.
 

Charitable donations may be made in Donald's memory to the following organization:

Indiana University School of Medicine, Department of Neurology for Frontotemporal Dementia,
P.O. Box 7072, Indianapolis, IN 4620

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