Dear Dad,

We hate that you’re gone, it’s way too soon, but we know you stayed as long as you could. You left the mundane on the first day of spring, mowing the grass and chopping the wood and keeping the old pump running. We’ll be listening ...

Dad was born in Coos Bay on the coast. Born to Fred and Rho, he also had a sister Carolyn, and two brothers, Fred and Richard. They moved northeast to Springfield and Dad played ball for the Millers where he met our mom, a spunky cheerleader. High school sweethearts, together forever. 

They had us three kids when the fun started from Carter Lane in town to the country, near the ghost town of Wendling. Oh, the memories will be our remedy from this parting. Building dams in the creek, chasing bats in our house, and eating ice cream. Dad blared “Eye of the Tiger” with the rising sun, the Butte to Butte morning, then East Broadway Pizzeria on Friday night.

The smell of dirt swirling with gasoline, so satisfying, Dad raced dirt bikes early on, played in a band and ran marathons. Shooting hoops in the driveway, we played 21, went to the Ems’ games and concerts for fun — Jackson Browne and the Eagles, his favorite ones.

Dad in heaven, still LOVES the DUCKS … football and basketball, the men and the women … sports radio in his little truck and watching on ESPN … picnicking in the east end zone was our thing. 

Thank you for being a loving husband and our Dad, so cool, working and fighting so hard for us, never a fuss. You were so tough. This isn’t goodbye, we’ll be together soon. Forever and always, we love and miss you. 

Don leaves behind a loving family: Maureen Mannila, wife of 58 years, two months and 20 days; Son: Don Mannila and fiancé, Nicole; Daughters: Angela Gorman and husband Rich, Christie Gilbert and husband Kirk; Grandkids: Ty and Parker Mannila, Jordan Gorman, Jessica Hammett and husband Kris, McKenzie Johnston and husband Zach; great-grandkid: Dash Johnston; sister: Carolyn Harper; many nieces and nephews.