Donald Earl Southwick, 90, of Onawa, Iowa, passed away on July 21, 2019, surrounded by his wife and four daughters. Those who knew him will always remember his quick wit and quirky sense of humor, which he never lost.
Memorial services will be 11:00 A.M. Saturday, July 27, 2019, at the Rush Family Chapel in Onawa, with Pastor Linda Boggs officiating. Military honors will be provided by the United States Air Force. Burial will be at a later date in Clarkson, Nebraska. Arrangements are under the direction of Rush Family Care Service in Onawa.
Donald was born in Kingsley, Iowa, to Earl and Elsie (Woods) Southwick, on June 8, 1929. Don was the fourth of five children. Growing up in Kingsley, he worked for the Kiderman Dairy and the Page Silo crew. With the outbreak of the Korean Conflict, Don enlisted in the United States Air Force and served from January 1951 through October 1953. His tour took him to Florida and the island of Okinawa. Don had attained the rank of Staff Sergeant when he received his early separation from the Air Force at the end of the Korean Conflict.
After returning home, Don continued his employment with the Page Silo crew to finance his education at Wayne State Teachers College. Before the 1954 fall classes began, he met Katherine Rosicky at the college bookstore. She didn’t think he would remember her name, but he did and called her that night. They had a coffee date or a study date at the campus library as often as they could.
Don and Katherine were married on June 19, 1955, in Clarkson, Nebraska. Four daughters were born to this union: Debra, DeeAnn, Barbara, and Susan.
Don’s first teaching position was in Ord, Nebraska, where he taught Industrial Arts for five years. Deciding he wanted to try something different, Don became an assistant manager at the Mead Lumber Company in Cheyenne, Wyoming. He very much enjoyed using his drafting skills that were developed in the Air Force, but decided he belonged in education. Don began a master’s program at Chadron State Teachers College in Chadron, Nebraska, and accepted a position in Leigh, Nebraska, as a principal and classroom teacher in 1963. While at Leigh, he received his Masters of Education Degree through Chadron State Teachers College and Specialist in Education Degree through the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. In 1968, Don accepted the position of Principal of West Monona High School in Onawa, Iowa. He became Superintendent of Schools in 1976, a position he held until his retirement in 1991. He was completely devoted to the kids and parents of West Monona.
Don enjoyed fishing, watching the birds and squirrels feeding from his living room window, reading, working at Berry Lumber Company where he could continue his love of woodworking, and watching Husker football, but most of all he loved spending time with his wife, daughters, and their families. Don was very active in the community. He was a member of the United Church of Christ in Onawa and Blencoe, Kiwanis Club, David McNeill American Legion Post #129 of Onawa, Masons and Eastern Star. Don also served on the Monona County Election Board.
Don is survived by his loving wife of 64 years, Katherine Southwick of Onawa, IA; his daughters and their spouses, Debra (Gary) Fox of Omaha, NE, DeeAnn (Glade) Williams of Boise, ID, Barbara (Mike Dendinger) Carlson of Sioux City, IA, and Susan (Hon) Crane of Onawa, IA; eleven grandchildren; 22 great grandchildren; his sister, Hazel James of Edmond, OK; his brother, Verl Southwick of Westminster, CO; brother-in-law, Henry Rosicky Jr and his wife Mary of Portland, OR; sister-in-law, Carol Rosicky of Broadlands, VA; and many nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Earl and Elsie (Woods) Southwick; parents-in-law, Henry and Lavern (Eick) Rosicky; his sister, Dorothy and her husband John McCann; brother, Harlan Southwick and his wife Virginia; granddaughter, Mindi Rae Carlson; sister-in-law, Jeanette Southwick; and brothers-in-law, Tom James and Robert Rosicky.
Memorial contributions are preferred and may be directed to the family to use to establish a memorial at West Monona High School in honor of Don’s many years of service to the school.
Condolences may be left online for the family at www.rushfamilycareservice.com
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