Donald James Goodbread, age 91, passed from this life to his heavenly reward on Thursday, May 9, 2013. He was born June 27, 1921 in Gloversville, New York, to William and Justine Hackeman Goodbread.
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At age 2, he moved with his mother and uncle to Montana where he spent his youth. He recalled herding a flock of sheep through Missoula as a boy with his stepfather, William Boyd, spending the night where the Southgate Mall is now located.
Donald completed high school at Huntington Park High School in Los Angeles, Calif. where he lived with his schoolteacher aunt, Mary Bertelson.
He received a diploma in Diesel and Maintenance Mechanics from National School in Los Angeles, after which he served in the U.S. Coast Guard in the South Pacific theater during WWII. He received an Honorable Discharge in 1946, and was called to join the Huntington Park Fire Department in 1947, in the days before turnout gear and EMTs. He saved lives and made a difference, shrugging off a "silent" heart attack, continuing to work until 1971 when he was retired on cardio respiratory disability.
He was briefly married to Norma Berton, producing a son, Kenneth, whom he raised as a single father after her death.
After spending a few years at Hollywood Park Race Track as a Fire Guard, he moved with his second wife, Ella Cleveland, to Seeley Lake, Montana where they spent several years hunting deer and elk, making delicious elk jerky, raising chickens, ducks, geese, goats, and llamas. When winters became too severe, they spent winter months with Ella's daughter in California and later in Florida, and settled in Fort Mohave, Ariz. where they remained until his peaceful passing following a long illness.
He is survived by his wife of 41 years, Ella; son, Kenneth; step-daughter, Linda Kiley (Ed Spenser) and their sons; two half-sisters, Maridell Bandy and Carol Eichenlaub and their children and grandchildren.
He was a caring and thoughtful husband, father, brother and uncle. We will miss him greatly.
He was incredibly tough, but didn't hesitate to say "thank you" for anything someone did for him until he was no longer able to speak. We wish him peaceful rest.
Published in Mohave Daily News Online from May 19 to May 26, 2013