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Donald Stocken

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Donald Stocken Obituary
Donald Wayne Stocken

Battle Creek - Kalamazoo - Paw Paw

It is with great sadness that the family of Donald W. Stocken, age 87 of Battle Creek, MI announces the passing of our dear husband, father, brother, grandfather, and great-grandfather. After a courageous battle with dementia, Donald peacefully passed away with his wife and family by his side at Maple Lake Assisted Living in Paw Paw, Mi.

Donald was born in Albion Michigan on July 29, 1927.  He was adopted as an infant by Glenn and Cecile (Mitchell) Stocken.  He grew up, attended school, married, raised children, and worked in Battle Creek.  Donald lived most of his life in Urbandale, attended Battle Creek Public Schools, and graduated from Battle Creek Central in 1945.  As a child, he sold cottage cheese door-to-door for the Cub Scouts, to earn his scouting uniform.  In his high school years, he worked at the National Cartage Company delivering freight for the Grand Trunk Western Railroad.  He also hand set bowling pins at what is now Nottke's Family Fun Center and Bowling Alley. 

Don enlisted in the United States Maritime Service and was trained at Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn, New York.  He sailed from 1945 until 1947 with the Merchant Marines serving as galley boy to the 2nd cook.

Don married the former Betty E. Webster at the Congregational Church in Battle Creek on June 7, 1947.  He studied sheet metal drafting and was employed at Post Cereals (now Kraft Foods) for over 37 years. retiring in 1987.  While there, he served as Top Committeeman and Vice-President of the local RWDS Union.  He also served as President of the Post 25-Year Club and was a member of the Post Sportsman Club.

Don's Masonic Memberships Were Many:

Blue Lodge, Bedford F & AM #207

Royal Arch Masons #188

Bedford Order of the Eastern Star #471

Grand Lodge of Michigan

Battle Creek Knight's Templar Commandery

York Rite College and KYCH of Michigan

Battle Creek Scottish Rite Club

Battle Creek Shrine Club

Saladin Shrine Temple of Grand Rapids

1972 He served as Grand Master of the Blue Lodge, Bedford F & AM #207.

1979 He served as High Priest of the Royal Arch Masons #188.

1980-1987 Served on the Board of General Purposes for the Grand Lodge of Michigan.

1981 He served as President of the 32nd Degree Scottish Rite Class. 

1985 Mason of the Year Award for outstanding service.

1988 President of the Battle Creek Shrine Club.

1988 He received the Grand Royal Arch Meritorious Service Award.

1990 President of the Battle Creek Scottish Rite Club.

1991 He received the Order of the Silver Trowel.

1991 He was "thrice" Illustrious Master of the Royal and Select Masons of Bedford #91.

1992 Donald was Commander of the Battle Creek Knight's Templar Commandery #33.

2002 Don received the Snriner Lifetime Achievement Award.

Don spent many hours selling Shrine newspapers and advertisements as well as "Vidalia Onions" and pecans for fund raisers. He made numerous trips transporting disabled children to the Shriners Children's Hospital in Chicago.  He was a member of the Battle Creek Mini 500 Unit and enjoyed driving the miniature race cars in parades across the state of Michigan.

Don was an avid fisherman and hunter.  He loved coin collecting, as well as playing cards and cribbage.  Don enjoyed music his whole life.  He played trombone in various local bands.  As a teen-ager he was one of the first non-employees allowed to play in the Post Band concerts.  He was also a member of the American Legion Band.  He also played with the Albion City Band, Kellogg Community College Concert Band, and the Battle Creek Central Alumni band.  After retirement, he spent his winters playing in the Rio Grande Valley Winter Texan Band. Don's final performance was in Kalamazoo playing at the Coover Capers, Kalamazoo's Counties Senior Service Variety Show in 2009.

Don and his wife Betty loved to travel.  Together, they traveled via a 5th wheel trailer over most of the United States and Canada.  They also enjoyed trips to Europe, China, Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, and of course there were a several Caribbean cruises.

They spent the summers of their retirement years residing at a cottage that Don built with the help of Betty's brother, Leon Webster, on Loon Lake near Manistee, Michigan.  Don and Betty lived in Kalamazoo at Fountain View Estates and Hope Woods, before moving in 2013 to Maple Lake Assisted Living of Paw Paw.

Don is survived by his wife Betty, three children: Susan K. (George) Forrester, Debra L. Frey, and Donald G. Stocken, five grandchildren: Tara Forrester, George Forrester II, Blayne Frey, Shauna Stocken, Courtney Stocken, three Great-Grandchildren: Hayven Baarson, Dakota Frey, George Forrester III. He is also survived by his brother, Gordon Conklin, of Pace, Florida. 

The family will receive friends from 4:00 PM to 7:00 PM Tuesday at the Bachman Hebble Funeral Service, 223 N. Bedford Rd.  Masonic funeral services will be held 11:00 AM Wednesday at the funeral home.

MEMORIAL CONTRIBUTIONS TO THE BATTLE CREEK SHRINE CLUB OR THE BEDFORD F & AM LODGE #207.  Visit Don's webpage at www.bachmanhebble.com.



Published in Battle Creek Enquirer on Jan. 18, 2015
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