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Donald Lee Stringham was born June 10, 1941 at home in Mount Ayr, IA to Ernest Milton Stringham and Colene Fentress (Vance) Stringham. Donnie grew up with Curtis Ray. He went to school in Mount Ayr up to his first day of his senior year and got expelled for driving his 1941 Chevy Coupe car to school with his best friend.
Donald was united in marriage Joan Marie Haley at the Benton Christian Church on June 3, 1962 shortly before Donald was sent to MCBB in Davisville, RI. To this union two children were born Malinda Lea in 1967 and James Ernest in 1969.
Donnie enlisted into the Navy on September 22, 1959 with his best friend, Dennis Webb. He traveled to the east coast and to the west coast stationed at many naval base locations. Donnie and Joan decided to reside in a family generation home in Benton, IA.
Donnie was known to keep very busy after 20 years of service. He worked as a truck driver with JB Hunt, a security guard, a maintenance worker for Mount Ayr Health Care Center and a propane deliverer for Smith Oil. He purchased his own truck in 2010, when Joan and Donnie traveled many miles together.
Grandpa loved his three grandsons so much, Matthew James, Michael Shane and Mitchel Lee Swank. Gramps made several phone calls to his grandsons just to keep track of them and to ask them about items he lost in the garage. Papa called by his two great-grandchildren. Lea Ann Marie and Nicholas James Swank, made him smile from ear to ear. He loved coloring and sneaking them cookies. Donnie enjoyed reading, doing puzzles, watching game shows, western movies, tinkering around the garage and gathering pop cans to recycle for family events.
Donald passed away at home in Benton on October 9, 2019. He was preceded in death by his wife, Joan; brother, Edward Ernest Stringham; parents, E. Sandy and Colene Stringham; parents-in-law, James Calvin Haley and Dorotha Olive Haley; brother-in-law, Bob (Linda) Haley; sister-in-law, Julia Stephens.
Left to cherish his memory are children, Malinda (Mike) Swank of Benton and Jamie Stringham of Leon; grandchildren, Matthew (Katie) Swank of Skidmore, MO, Shane (Marissa) Swank of Monroe and Mitchel Swank (Micha Stephens) of Creston; great-grandchildren, Lea Ann Marie Swank and Nicholas James Swank of Skidmore, MO; brother, Curt Stringham, of Cedar Rapids; sister-in-law, Mary Jane (Ernie) Garrett, of Diagonal; brother-in-law, Don Stephens, of Benton. He leaves behind many cousins, nieces, nephews, friends and acquaintances to grieve his loss.
Donald was a loving husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, brother, uncle and friend. He cherished, love and supported Malinda and Jamie, grandson’s and great grandkids watching them all succeed in their lives and growing up. One thing we will all miss are the birthday calls he made. Matt will miss the calls about the Hawkeyes and KC Chiefs football games and working together on vehicles. Shane will always remember the life learned lessons and all the memories together. Mitchel, grandpa’s side kick will miss gramps, his partner in crime who taught him everything he knows when it comes to hard work and getting what he wanted at the lowest price possible.
After 57 years of marriage Donald is now reunited once again with the love of his life Joan. Happily Ever After!
Services were at 2:30 p.m. on Sunday, October 13, 2019 at Armstrong Funeral Home in Mount Ayr, IA.
Officiating was Pastor Bill Armstrong.
Songs were “The Old Rugged Cross” By: Alan Jackson, “Grandpa” By: The Judds and “Convoy” By: C.W. McCall.
Active casket bearers were Matthew Swank, Shane Swank, Mitchel Swank, Mike Swank, Bobby Jo Haley and Mike Gepner.
Honorary casket bearers were Dennis Webb and Don and Diane Zollman.
Military honors by Ringgold Post #172, American Legion and US Navy Honor Guard.
Final resting place is at the Benton Cemetery in Benton, IA.

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