Donald John Sellner – Delaware

Donald John Sellner, 79, of Delaware, Iowa died October 18, 2014, at St. Luke’s inpatient hospice unit after fighting a long battle with amyloidosis. Funeral Mass of Christian Burial will be 10:30 a.m., Friday, October 24, 2014 at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church, Earlville. Visitation will be from 3:00 to 8:00 p.m., with a Scripture service at 8:00 p.m., at Clifton Murdoch Funeral Home and Cremation Service, Earlville, on Thursday evening, October 23, 2014, and from 9:00 – 10:00 a.m. prior to service at the Funeral Home. Burial will be at St. Joseph’s Catholic Cemetery in Earlville.

Don was born May 4, 1935, to Andrew and Dorothy (Kelchen) Sellner. He attended St. Joseph’s school in Earlville. At the age of 12, he started working for his sisters and brother-in-laws on their farms. On September 1, 1955, he married Carol Gibbs. To this union were born nine children. They divorced in August, 1987. Don farmed south of Earlville. He was a dairy farmer and did custom work of baling and combining. He sold his dairy herd in 2002 and quit farming in 2007.

Don was a lifelong member of St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Earlville where he sang in the choir since the age of 12 for a total of 67 years.

Don built the 12 unit Cornerstone Apartments in Delaware from 1993 – 1999, which he still owned. His renters always knew he would take care of any problems promptly. He was always putzing on projects. He was a great handyman. No piece of wood went unused.

He met Bonnie Jean Steege of Independence on January 18, 2002. They were married September 5, 2009 at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church. The past four winters they spent in Apache Junction, Arizona, where their home was a gathering spot for cookouts, card games, dominoes and lots of visiting. Swap meets, flea markets and jam sessions occupied remaining time.

Don’s favorite pastime was traveling. He drove to all 49 of the contiguous states, including the 8,000 mile trip to Alaska. He and Bonnie traveled to Canada, Mexico, 11 European countries, and honeymooned in Fiji, New Zealand and Australia.

Don’s favorite saying was, “STOP and SMELL the ROSES.” He enjoyed tending his many flowerbeds.

Music was an important factor in his life. He played guitar and harmonicas since he was young, having self-taught himself.

Since 2011, he enjoyed camping in the motorhome (Herman.)

Don is survived by his wife, Bonnie; seven children, Tom (Pam) Sellner of Manchester, Tamy (Bob) Halfhill of Earlville, Tracy Sellner of New Hampton, Trudy (Jim) Carmicheal of Marshalltown, Tana (Grant) Guetzko of Delhi, Tina (Duane) Elgin of Manchester, and Tricia (Al) Connolly of Maquoketa; 18 grandchildren, 4 step grandchildren, 12 great-grandchildren, and 8 step great-grandchildren; sister, Germaine Goedken of Dubuque, sister, Delores Burkle of Earlville, brother, Irvin (Donna) Sellner of Earlville, brother, John (Ann) of St. Paul, Minnesota, sister, Carol (Merle) Krapfl of Ryan; brother, David (Carol) Sellner of Dubuque; and sister-in-law, Carlyn Sellner of Manchester.

Preceding him in death were his parents; two sons, Tim in March, 1999, and Terry in November, 2013; two grandchildren, Austin Newman, and Seth Sellner; one great-grandchild, Matthew Sellner; one sister, Millie Geistkemper in August, 2012; one brother, James Sellner in January, 2013; three brother-in-laws, Gib Goedken in December, 2013, Ray Geistkemper, in June, 2014, and James Burkle, September, 2014; two nephews, Dwayne Geistkemper and Johnathan Sellner; and two nieces, Juanita Sellner and Sheryl Goedken.