Donald Lee Kirkhart Sr., passed away on Monday May 1, 2023, at Steve and Patsy house in Great Falls Montana. He was born in Partridge, Kansas on July 30, 1935, to Erma Sparks and Leroy Kirkhart. His parents divorced when he was 2 years old and lived with his grandparents Clifford and Evey Sparks in Hutchinson, Kansas. Don graduated from Codell High School in 1953, never missing a day of school. After high school he worked in the oilfield on a pulling unit for Bill’s Well Service.
He married Patricia L. Conway on August 19, 1956. In May 1957, he enlisted in the Air Force and was stationed in New Jersey where all 4 of their children were born from 1960 to 1964. The Air Force brought the family to the Philippines, then Texas where he became a Dallas Cowboy fan, then California and lastly Minot, North Dakota, where dad decided it was time to stay put so his kids did not have to switch schools as often. He was a flight engineer and an airplane mechanic for 24 years before he retired from the Air Force on September 1st, 1981, as Chief Master Sergeant. He also served in the Vietnam War where he instructed plane repair techniques to the Southern Vietnamese.
Dad, Mom and Steve ended up moving to Great Falls, Montana where he worked at City Motors, Spartan Trucking and Sports City. In January 1985, Dad and Mom divorced. He met Suzie Doyle on New Years Day 1990, and he married her in 2002. In 1997, he sold his house and bought a fifth wheel camper and started traveling around the U.S. and South for the winters to Yuma, AZ where he had a lot of friends and enjoyed flying RC planes. They had a great adventure traveling to many different places and always came back to Great Falls in the Spring where he loved the mountains and fishing. After Suzie passed away on December 22, 2016, he bought a motorhome and a boat so he could fish Holter Lake.
Don is survived by his children, Donald (Rebekah) Kirkhart, Shelley (Brad) Fimrite, Debra (Tony) Swanson, and Steven (Patsy) Kirkhart; his grandchildren, Sommar Watson, Jamie Wicks, Jorden Kirkhart, Josh Kirkhart, Kristen Cram, Cory Westmoreland, Chris Fimrite, Kelly Fimrite, April Metzger, Joe Swanson, Tony Swanson, Samantha Alspaw, Loryn Kirkhart, Jace Kirkhart and 23 great grandchildren.
To read the complete obituary and share condolences, click here to visit the Croxford Funeral Home website.
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