Donald Dale Rosenow, 81, of Clay Center, passed away from this earth into God’s glory Sunday, May 1, 2016.
He was born January 19, 1935 at home and grew up on the farm east of Clay Center in the Ebenezer Community. He was the oldest son of Ivan and Edna (Schurle) Rosenow. He graduated from Clay Center Community High School in 1953.
He married his high school sweetheart, Phyllis Chaffee on Sept. 5, 1954 at the Alert Covenant Church. They were Homecoming King and Queen their senior year. They were blessed with five children. Don was a farmer stockman and he and Phyllis farmed all of their married life living east of Green. Don loved farming his own land and also with his dad on the farm where he grew up. Phyllis helped with the farming and he enjoyed sharing that with her as well as several trips they took together. They also hosted kids classes for field trips to the farm through Farm Bureau’s Ag in the classroom program. He was active in the community serving on the Co-op Elevator Board and in the Blue Valley Laymen’s League.
The family was very active in the Alert Covenant Church. Don loved the Lord and was always ready to tell others about Jesus. He taught Sunday School and he and Phyllis were youth group sponsors through the years. Don taught his family about God and it was very important to him that they learned about eternal salvation through Jesus.
As Phyllis’ health declined, one of the hardest decisions Don had to make was to move her off the farm to a care home. Phyllis passed away on October 17, 2001.
Later in life he was led to start a Kansan’s for Life Chapter in Clay Center and worked tirelessly for the protection of the unborn. He was not one to waver on what the Bible says and, even if it was unpopular, he stuck to what the scriptures say. He participated in mission trips to Russia with the Josh McDowell Ministries, March for Life rallies in Washington D.C., Operation Save America rallies and Republican National Conventions.
Don was an avid sportsman and involved in sports of some kind; participating in football, basketball and track in high school. He continued his athletic endeavors well into his adult years, playing fast pitch softball and town team basketball. He and his brother Darrell were a formidable pitcher and catcher battery and with players from Highland Township won state fast pitch softball tournaments in 1958 and ’62 and runner up in ‘64, ‘69 and ‘70 representing Highland, Clay Center and Manhattan. Don continued playing into the early ‘70s. He was inducted into the Kansas Amateur Softball Association Hall of Fame in 1990.
He also did a lot of running, sometimes in his running shoes on a planned run but, if he was out and needed to get from field to field or maybe bring in the cows, work boots worked fine, too. At one of his kids’ track meets, they announced that there would be a“ Master’s Mile” race for any parent that wanted to participate. It didn’t matter to him that he didn’t have his running shoes with him. He just ran in his boots.
Don was also very active in FFA in High School and helped with FFA alumni activities in more recent years.
On August 31, 2003, the Lord brought Don and Venita Nelson together in a wonderful, blessed marriage. They enjoyed 12 and ½ years together before Don passed away. Don was still raising cattle and putting up hay and he and Venita enjoyed doing this together. They continued pro-life activities and took several trips together going to Russia with “Gain”, Operation Save America rallies each year in July to a different state, “ March for Life” in Washington D.C. and the Republican National Conventions. They also took a cruise to Alaska and a trip to Switzerland, Italy, Germany and Austria.
Don was a people person. He could strike up a conversation with anyone and always took a genuine interest in people’s lives. Once he met you, he didn’t forget you. He gave of his time to help many people. He wanted to be involved in what was going on. Even on the last weekend of his life, he was able to attend a graduation reception on Saturday, go to church that Sunday morning and out to eat with Venita and be among friends that afternoon. Over the past several months, it was getting increasingly difficult for Don to get around. Even with all of those challenges, he never complained. He just took life one day at a time.
He coached the Junior High girls basketball team and the boys fast pitch summer league softball team, both at Green, for several years. Don was also very supportive of all of his kid’s endeavors, rarely missing a school, church or sports event. He went to as many of his grandkids’ activities as was possible. He and Venita continued this when they married and also attended Venita’s grandkid’s events as well, making for a busy life that was very special and enjoyable.
Don’s wife, Venita, survives of the home. Other survivors include one son, Jeff Rosenow and wife Val of Manhattan; four daughters, Shelly McClure and husband Steve of Clay Center, Tawny McHenry and husband Greg of Manhattan, Lisa Slaven and husband Joe and Lynn Krug and husband Dave both of Overland, Park; two stepsons, Mike Nelson and wife Helene of Leawood and Bradley Nelson of Greenleaf; two stepdaughters, Lori Malick of St. George and Jodi Nelson of Jacksonville, Florida; 23 grandchildren and 4 great-grandchildren; a sister, Nola Schmale and husband Ron of Clay Center; a sister-in-law, Beverly Rosenow of Lubbock, Texas and nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by a stepson, Mark David Nelson and a great grandson, Wayne Scott McHenry, his parents and a brother, Darrell Rosenow of Lubbock, Texas.
Funeral services will be held at 10:30 A.M. Friday, May 6, 2016 at the Alert Covenant Church with Pastor Dwight Diller officiating. Respect calls may be made anytime Thursday at the Anderes-Pfeifley Funeral Home in Riley. The family will receive friends from 5 until 8:00 P.M. Thursday. Burial will be in the Pleasant Hill Cemetery.
Memorials have been established for the Alert Covenant Church, Flint Hills Christian School at Green and Kansan’s for Life. Contributions may be left in care of the Anderes-Pfeifley Funeral Home.