Donald Joseph "Don" Walbridge
1932 - 2020
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Donald Joseph "Don" Walbridge

Gull Lake (Augusta), MI - Don, age 88, died peacefully Friday morning, December 18, 2020 at his residence with his loving family at his side. Don, the son of Fred and Virginia (Given) Walbridge, was born in Battle Creek, MI on April 13, 1932; he was a lifetime area resident and a 1950 graduate of Battle Creek Central High School where he excelled in the classroom and on the baseball diamond. He studied business and economics at Western Michigan University, graduating Magna Cum Laude in 1954. While at WMU he continued his love for the game of baseball and lettered on the Freshman team as a walk-on. He served his country honorably and nobly in the United States Army, stationed at Fort Carson in Colorado Springs from 1954-1956 before returning to the area. He represented the Sun life Insurance Company while attending the University of Michigan Law School, graduating with a Juris Doctor degree in 1961. He worked as a Legal Aid Attorney for Calhoun County, became Senior Trust Officer at the Security National Bank, and went into private practice in 1972 maintaining an office in the Columbia Square Building until his retirement in 1994. In 2012 he was honored as a 50 year member of the State of Michigan Bar Association.

Don was a proud and active member of many Battle Creek area associations and organizations including: The B.C. Chamber of Commerce, The Exchange Club, The Cereal City Barbershop Chorus, and The Old Timers Baseball Association. He served on the board of the Kingman Museum and was a member of the Yorkville Community Church and Choir. He supported the Battle Creek YMCA and participated in their Volleyball, Racquetball and Handball tournaments. Known as a tough competitor, his skill and determination earned him respect from his opponents and a city championship or two on the handball courts. Don enjoyed nothing more than being with his family and friends; sharing experiences through activities like canoeing, fishing, hunting; and travelling to and experiencing the beauty of the American West. He especially loved Sedona, Arizona and spent many winters there with his wife Louise after retiring.

Don was united in marriage to Louise Elizabeth Darkey in Battle Creek on April 2, 1955 and they shared 61 years together. She preceded him in death on January 20, 2016. Surviving are his three sons: Randy (Liz) Walbridge of Richland, MI; Jay (Stephanie) Walbridge of Hickory Corners, MI; Ken (Kelly) Walbridge of Gainesville, TX; his foster son, Michael (Dawn) Isherwood of Dumfries, VA; ten precious grandchildren; a recent great grandson; his brother, Dave (Gail) Walbridge of Orlando, FL. and many nieces, nephews and their families. Don was also preceded in death by his parents.

A private family graveside service to celebrate Don's life will be held at a future date at Memorial Park Cemetery in Battle Creek. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions in Don's honor may be directed to the Gull Lake Community Schools Foundation, 10100 East D Avenue, Richland, MI 49083. The Farley Estes Dowdle Funeral Home & Cremation Care, Richland Chapel is assisting Don's family.

Personal messages and/or favorite memories of Don may be placed at

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Published in Battle Creek Enquirer from Dec. 23 to Dec. 27, 2020.
No memorial events are currently scheduled. To offer your sympathy during this difficult time, you can now have memorial trees planted in a National Forest in memory of your loved one.
Memories & Condolences
Guest Book sponsored by Farley Estes Dowdle Funeral Home & Cremation Care
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8 entries
December 31, 2020
Thinking of all you with deepest sympathy
We thought Don was an exceptional man. So full of humor and practical jokes. He will be missed
With our deepest sympathy
Bud and Judi Baldwin
December 30, 2020
Jay & Steph - I remember meeting Papa Don at a few family get togethers and also seeing him up north at the Rifle River during Deer season. A very gracious man and I know he will be missed by your whole family. Our thoughts and prayers are with Don and your family. Sincerely - The Maher's.
John Maher
Family Friend
December 29, 2020
Don was such a fun loving guy to be around. I don't think I ever saw him when
he wasn't positive. The world was a better place because of Don Walbridge.

John&Amy Koestner
John Koestner
Family Friend
December 28, 2020
May your hearts soon be filled with wonderful memories of joyful times together as you celebrate a life well lived.
James and Connie (Crandall) Reisterer
December 24, 2020
Dear Jay and family, Sending thoughts and prayers to you at this difficult time. I remember talking to you while working at Oaklawn Hospital in the ED and telling you about your Dad being my attorney and letting you know how much I respected him and thought he was a wonderful and kind man. Cherish all your beautiful memories. Sincerely, Darlene Weimer
Darlene Weimer
December 23, 2020
Don was a father figure to so many of us who grew up with Randy, Jay, Kenny, and Mike on Gull Lake in the 70s. I'll never forget when he came to take my mom and me across the frozen lake during the blizzard of '78 as we were trying to finish our move to Texas. That night Don and Louise took pity on us and fed us spaghetti, our first home-cooked meal in weeks. So many other memories from '74 to '78 come flooding back. Much love to the family.
Miles McCrimmon
Family Friend
December 23, 2020
I knew Don going back to the 70s. He was a good man and a good lawyer. I was blessed to have known him.
Marv Ratner
December 22, 2020
We kept in touch through the years, calling to talk about our beautiful granddaughter, Christina. Don & my husband John talked about the old songs, once he sent a tape of all old music. They both were kind, loving parents and friends.
Mary Delafosse
Family Friend
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