Donald Pompey / March 24, 1924 – Dec. 10, 2009

Published 4:44pm Wednesday, December 23, 2009
Donald Pompey
Donald Pompey

Donald Pompey, 85, died Dec. 10, 2009.

He was born March 24, 1924, one of seven sons born to Benjamin Clifford Pompey and Blanche May Harris Pompey in Dowagiac.

Don served in the U.S. Army during World War II from 1943 to 1946 as a technical sergeant over a tank command in Europe. He received an honorable discharge and although he was wounded during the war, he never received the Purple Heart Award to which he was entitled. After his tour of duty with the Army, Don drove semi-tractor trailers for many years across the United States.

In 1961, he married Gretchen Celeste Baker, who preceded him in death, and helped to nurture and support their three adopted children: Lynn Barrett (Chad), Howard Baker (Jackie) and Rohn Baker (Yvonne). He ascended to the position of grandfather to Sonya, Stacey, Geoffrey, Carl II, Howard III, Christina, Paul, David and Max. He was a patriarch to a growing number of great-grandchildren.

One of Don’s greatest career achievements came in the 1960s, when testing for a civil service position with the City of Detroit. He was informed that he has received a 100 percent result, the highest ever score achieved at that point. Don ended his career as a heavy equipment operator for the Cass County road commission.

He suffered a debilitating stroke in the late 70s, and yet this did not slow him from his outdoor interest. Don was an avid hunter and fisherman and looked forward to camp outings that enabled him to expose his grandchildren to the Great Outdoors. Even with his mobility limitation brought on by the stroke, he always looked forward to the annual small game and deer hunting season. Don lived his life to the fullest and only regretted not visiting the great state of Alaska, where he often envisioned himself fishing for salmon or hunting.

In addition to his immediate family, he leaves a host of nieces and nephews to cherish his memory. He will be missed.

Funeral services were held Tuesday, Dec. 15, 2009 at 11 a.m. at Greater Love Tabernacle, C.O.G.I.C., Detroit.

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