Murphy Funeral Homes

4510 Wilson Boulevard, Arlington, VA


Donald Mayo Bisbee

October 8, 1921October 18, 2019
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Donald Mayo Bisbee was born on October 8, 1921, to Melissa and Arthur Bisbee of Toeterville, Iowa. Art owned a blacksmith shop and repaired farm machinery and cars. An accident in the shop blinded Donald in one eye when he was very young. Donald and his older sister, Elaine, and younger sister, Maxine, attended the one room schoolhouse in Toeterville. High school started at grade 9. Donald graduated from St. Ansgar High School in 1939. There he won speech contests and was captain of the football team. The following year he attended Hamilton School of Commerce in Mason City, Iowa, on scholarship. Then after taking the Civil Service test, he was hired by the War Department and moved to Washington, DC. He was nineteen.

At twenty-one, Donald was drafted by the Army and sent to Wright Field in Ohio for two years. There he met and married Ruth Ann Tubbs. The two left Ohio in December 1944, and settled in Washington. Both had Government Service jobs working at a new place, the Pentagon.

Donald and Ruth Ann bought a house in Arlington, VA in 1945. They had three children: Donna Jean (1947), David (1951), and Michael (1957). They joined Falls Church Presbyterian Church in 1947. Donald continued to work for the Air Force. He attended George Washington University at night for his B.A. and M.A. Degrees. When he retired from the Pentagon, Donald had thirty-seven years of Government Service.

Donald and Ruth Ann were married for sixty years before her death in 2004. A man of faith, Donald participated in church activities until his final four years when he had Alzheimer’s disease. Donald liked reading, traveling, exploring genealogy, gardening, baking bread, and bowling. He was a past PTA president and past president of The Northwest Arlington Lions Club. Every year he was always optimistic about the Redskins. Donald died on October 18, 2019. He was 98 years old.

His children invite friends and family to a memorial service on Friday, November 1, 2019, at 11:30AM, at Falls Church Presbyterian Church, 225 East Broad Street, Falls Church, VA 22046. Donations to the Donald M. Bisbee Memorial Fund may be sent to the Falls Church Presbyterian Church at the address above. Burial will be at a later date at Arlington National Cemetery.


  • Memorial Service Friday, November 1, 2019
  • Reception Friday, November 1, 2019


Donald Mayo Bisbee

have a memory or condolence to add?

Megan Klose

October 25, 2019

I always appreciated seeing Donald in church. He was so dapper, and really seemed to enjoy being there. I have missed him and Donna in their regular pew these past years. I am sure Donald is reunited in love with his wife and all the saints who have gone before him. My heart goes out to Donna and her brothers. You are a faithful daughter, Donna, and did a good job caring for your father. My condolences.