Donald Lee Gaylord, 84, of New London, died Monday, October 26, 2020 at Great River Medical Center. He was born December 23, 1935 in Stronghurst, Illinois to Emmett Ellsworth and Beulah Mae Seitz Gaylord. On December 6, 1957, he married Judith Ann Miller in Mt. Pleasant.
He was a 1954 graduate of Mt. Union High School and was a 54 year member of the Flint Hills Church of the Nazarene in Burlington where he served as Sunday School Superintendent and drove the church bus for many years. Don served in the Army and the Army Reserves in the 495th Engineers out of Mt. Pleasant. He was a 25 year member of the New London Lions Club. For 35 years he worked in the shipping department at Lehigh Leopold until they closed in 1990 and then worked in maintenance at the Henry County Court House for 12 years until retiring. Don was a fan of the Chicago Cubs and loved anything John Deere. He was an avid Bible reader, enjoyed Bible Study and completed “Search of the Scriptures”.
Survivors include his wife; four children; Cynthia Wilson of New London, Nathaniel (Teresa) Gaylord of Gardner, Kansas, Stephen (Angela) Gaylord of Shawnee, Kansas and Kimberly (Rollie) Fedler of West Point; nine grandchildren; five great-grandchildren; sisters Doris Bock of Lees Summit, MO., Dorothy Thompson of Burlington; and many nieces and nephews.
Besides his parents, he was preceded in death by twin great-grandsons; brothers John, LaVerne and Gerald Gaylord and sisters Beverly Region and Sarah Baughman.
A graveside service for Mr. Gaylord will be at 2:00 PM, Friday, October 30, 2020 at Sheridan Cemetery, Mt. Union with Pastor Ron Jewett officiating and military rites by the Henry County Honor Guard.
Social Distancing guidelines should be followed and masks are recommended.
Memorials have been established for the Flint Hills Church of the Nazarene and Sheridan Cemetery Association. Online condolences may be left at www.elliottfuneralchapel.com.
Thomas Dean “Tom” Schnirring, 70, of Burlington, passed away peacefully at home at Sunnybrook Assisted Living on October 23, 2020.
Tom was born August 3, 1950, in Storm Lake, Iowa, to Wilbur and Jacquelyn (Battern) Schnirring, and had been a Burlington resident since 1958. He graduated from Burlington High School in 1968, and received degrees from Southeastern Community College in 1970 and Western Illinois University in 1986. In 1975 he married Donna Miller, later divorcing. He was employed for over 37 years at Champion Spark Plug before retiring in 2009. Post-retirement, he discovered a love for substitute teaching in the Burlington area school system and also served as a tutor and a mentor to many students on the side.
Tom was an active member of the First United Methodist Church in Burlington, where he operated the sound system, attended the Methodist Men group, and provided the quirky voice of Phil the Camel in the church’s puppet group. He was a member of the Burlington Golf Club, the Des Moines County Humane Society (where he served as treasurer on the board for many years), and also taught Junior Achievement.
Tom loved Iowa, anything Iowa-related, and especially Northwest Iowa, or “up home”. He loved to drive, and enjoyed travel, with a lifelong love of airplanes and trains. His favorite places to visit were the state historical museums and archives in Des Moines, and of course, Lake Okoboji. He was happiest at the lakes.
In 2014, Tom was sidelined after a stroke left him with limited use of his left leg and no use of his left arm. Unfortunately, that stroke took away Tom’s ability to drive, and limited his chances to travel, to teach, and to live his life to the fullest, but he rarely complained. He moved into Sunnybrook Assisted Living and become part of its family of residents and staff.
Tom was grateful and humble, rarely complained, and believed that life is a gift from God, meant to be lived to the fullest. He relished sharing life with friends and family and everyone he met. No one was a stranger to Tom, and he was proud to provide enrichment and love to the students he encountered. He often said “If I can’t have fun, it’s not worth doing.”
Some of Tom’s favorite memories revolve around cars-reminiscing with the cousins about “Grandpa’s old Merc jalop,” or cruising around with Mark Smith in Mark’s Chevy Bel Aire. Tom’s prized possession was a framed photo of his grandfather’s old Studebaker, which he will be buried with at his request.
At Sunnybrook, Tom was known as “Bingo Tom”, calling bingo in his booming voice twice a week and being silly. He also hosted a trivia game and loved to travel to different assisted livings to compete in Wii Bowling tournaments. He loved it when members of the community and local businesses would come to Sunnybrook to bowl with the residents.
Tom leaves behind one sister, Jean and her husband Peter Bystol, and their son, Tom’s nephew Liam, age 15, of Rosemount, Minnesota; as well as cousins on both the Schnirring side and the Battern side, many of whom Tom considered his brothers; and his best friend Beth Benzkofer-Kozitzka of Mankato, MN.
He was preceded in death by his parents, and one sister Ann Millar, and her husband Dan.
Due to COVID, there will be no formal service, but a brief graveside gathering, socially distanced, will be held at 10:00 a.m. Wednesday, October 28th at Aspen Grove Cemetery. Tom will be buried near his parents. The Rev. Melisa Bracht-Wagner will officiate.