A funeral service for Donald Gene “Don” Birkle, 78, was held Tuesday, Jan. 28 at the United Church of Christ in Wheatland, Wyoming with Pastor Joe Bair officiating. Military honors will be accorded by the Laramie Peak VFW Post #3558 and the Ora Call American Legion Post #10.
Don passed away Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2020 at his home in Wheatland.
Don was born on Wednesday, Jan. 29, 1941 in Wheatland the son of Edward and Laura (Lockman) Birkle. He was married and had two children. Don served in the United States Air Force from 1959-1963 where he was a mechanic. That experience led to his employment at the Walthall Chevrolet, initially in the body shop; he eventually moved into the position of sales manager. In 1975, he joined Bill Vines as partner of the Wheatland Coast-to-Coast hardware store, and later they partnered with John Allen to acquire Allen Furniture. Don loved the hardware business, and he loved helping solve his customers’ problems (he also loved getting his younger customers into shiny new bikes). After Coast-to-Coast, he went back into the car business, selling cars for Anderson Ford, but the hardware business never left his thoughts, eventually leading him back into retail and into True Value until his first retirement. He came out of retirement to work for the Wheatland Co-op, doing what he loved until he finally decided the time had come to truly retire in 2019.
Don also had many civic interests over the years, including the Jaycee’s, the Masonic Lodge, Lion’s Club, and Pheasants Forever. He was also utterly devoted to golf and to spending time in the mountains.
Don is survived by his daughter, LaNell (Tim) McGuire of Hayward, Wis.; son, Mark (Michelle) Birkle of Wheatland; grandchildren, Miranda McGuire and Mitchell (Emma) McGuire; step-grandchildren, Braxton Bitner and Dustin Hanks; great grandchildren, Cameron and Dylan Hanks; sister, Judy (Denny) Scheller ; and many nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents and brothers, Bill and Larry.
A memorial to the donor’s choice would be appreciated by the family.
Serving as honorary pallbearers will be Mike Dreher, Ron Darling, Jon Larscheid, and Mitchell McGuire.
Gorman Funeral Homes – Platte Chapel of Wheatland are in charge of the arrangements.
Condolences can be left for the family at www.gormanfh.com