In Memory

Donald Irwin Ansbaugh - Class Of 1950


Washington 1950 Donald Irwin Ansbaugh

June 13, 1932 - Jan. 19, 2016

GRANGER - Donald Irwin Ansbaugh, age 83, died in his home with his wife Bea at his side. Don was born in South Bend on June 13, 1932 to Samuel Ellison Ansbaugh and Bessie (Pond) Ansbaugh. Don lived in the South Bend/Granger area all his life. He met his wife, Bea, when they were in the 7th grade. After graduating from Washington Clay High School in 1950, Don married Beatrice Sowers on July 27th, 1952 in Zion United Church of Christ in South Bend. Don was drafted not too long after he and Bea were married and spent 17 months in Korea in 1953 & 1954. Don was active in sports in high school and was an avid golfer (with a one handicap) and won numerous tournaments at Morris Park Country Club where he was a member. He also was a member of the Four Lakes Country Club. He was an active bowler winning many trophies over the years. He also loved playing pool and 3 cushion billiards and as usual was very good at that game too. He worked at Wheelhorse Products for well over 20 years and then at Wheelabrator Frye for ten years in Mishawaka. When he retired in 1990 at the age of 58 he started wood carving. He has beautiful carvings in many states. His display of all the presidents has been shown in the Mishawaka library. They have many beautiful carvings displayed in their home, especially the Kachina dolls that he loved carving. Also a full sized barn owl that took over 70 hours to do. Later he started doing acrylic paintings of landscapes and old buildings and of course did them beautifully. Everything he set his mind to do he did well.

He leaves behind his loving wife of over 63 years; two sons, Craig Allen Ansbaugh (Patrice Linder Ansbaugh) of Longmont Colorado and David Brian Ansbaugh (Bonnie Phillips Ansbaugh) of Granger; grandchildren, Dr. Nathan Joseph Ansbaugh and his wife, Dr. Julie Ansbaugh of Minneapolis, MN, Katy Mae Ansbaugh Engberg and her husband, James Engberg of Portland, OR, Nicholas Ellison Ansbaugh of South Bend & Florida, Lindsey Ansbaugh Shane of Indianapolis, IN, Nikolaus McNerney of Albuquerque, NM, and Gabriel McNerney of Chicago, IL; and a great-granddaughter, Ania Nichole Shane. Preceding him in death were his parents; a brother, Dr. Lawrence Ansbaugh; and a grandson, Adam Michael Ansbaugh.

Don enjoyed traveling, especially out to Colorado to visit their son Craig and his family. He also enjoyed visiting his son Dave at Juno Lake and spending time with him on his pontoon boat. Don loved working outside in the woods and also growing flowers. He enjoyed the many birds & deer they fed in the woods. Especially the last few years the bluebirds that came to visit & then stayed & nested in a house Don had quickly built. Also, the unexpected visit of the pileated woodpeckers. He enjoyed playing cribbage with Bea and took great joy in winning the game. Don enjoyed cooking and he made some delicious meals to serve to friends and family. He was an honest hard working gentleman and loved and respected by many. He dearly loved his family and was very proud of their accomplishments. Every day he and Bea had together was a blessing and he will be missed.

He chose to be cremated and there will be a celebration of his wonderful life at a later date. We are ever so grateful to Senior Helpers and to The Center for Hospice Care for their kindness and concern and care. Many thanks also to the many dear friends who have been concerned during Don's illness and kept our family in their prayers. Contributions in memory of Don may be made to the Center for Hospice Care, 501 Comfort Place, Mishawaka, IN 46545. Family and friends may leave e-mail condolences at



When I am gone, release me, let me go.

I have so many things to see and do

You mustn't tie yourself to me with tears,

Be happy that we had so many years,

I gave to you my love, you can only guess

How much you gave me in happiness

I thank you for the love you each have shown,

But now it's time I traveled on alone.

So grieve awhile for me, if grieve you must.

Then let your grief be comforted by trust

It's only for a while that we must part.

So bless your memories that lie within your heart.

I won't be far away, for life goes on.

So if you need me, call and I will come.

Though you can't see me or touch me, I'll be near.

And if you listen with your heart, you'll hear

All of my love around you soft and clear.

And then, when you must come this way alone,

I'll greet you with a smile and a “Welcome Home.”


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