Donald Ray Greenwood
August 2, 1930 – January 23, 2019
Donald Ray Greenwood Was born August 2, 1930 in his Grandma Wilkerson’s home in Concordia Kansas. Passed away January 23, 2019 in New Plymouth Idaho.
He was the third son of Edward and Mildred Greenwood.
The family lived on a small farm about 25 miles northwest of Concordia until Don was 6 years old. Because of the drought conditions associated with the Great Dust Bowl, the family moved to Idaho, and Don’s dad built a small house on an acreage outside of Caldwell.
His dad worked for local farmers for a time to learn the farming methods in Idaho, which were different from Kansas methods.
When Don was 10 years old, his father was injured while working with a horse and spent 6 months in a hospital in far-away Blackfoot.
Don and his brothers worked at any odd jobs they could get from neighbors to support the family – it was a hard struggle.
When Don was 12 years old, the family moved to an 80 acre farm near Notus.
Most of Don’s youth was very similar to any other young boy on the farm – helping mom in the house, helping dad outside in the fields, playing in the irrigation canal on hot summer days, riding horses, getting teased by older brothers, and teasing his younger sister.
One day Don and his younger sister were drying the dishes as their mom was washing them. The teasing and bickering between Don and his sister escalated. This is how Don told the story to his children:
“I said: You do that one more time and I’ll break this plate over your head.” She stuck her tongue out at me and made a smart sound at me. I hit her on the head with a plate and it broke perfectly in half.” For punishment Mom made each of us eat the next meal off of our half of the plate.”
Donald and some of his school classmates could also be a handful for his school teachers. “I was sent to the principle’s office so often that he had a special paddle made just for me!”
Don finished eighth grade, but then stopped going to school and went to work, like so many other farm boys of that time.
He later told his children that he regretted that decision. “The older I got the more I realized the mistake I made by quitting school.”
He worked cattle, irrigated, and did other odd jobs. He did not know it at the time but learning to irrigate would play a role in his future marriage.
In 1948, farming conditions were again rough in Kansas, and the Edward Isaacson family moved to Notus, and started farming there.
They had a pretty young daughter named Erma. Don and Erma met when they went with their respective families on the weekly trip to the local co-op grocery store.
Don immediately fell head over heels for Erma, and Erma, she being used to seeing farmers wear loose baggy overalls, thought that he wore mighty tight pants.
Edward’s wife, Mary Jane, was allergic to the alkali in the soil, so they travelled back to Kansas to find a farm there, leaving Erma to take care of the garden and irrigate the crops on the Notus farm.
She did not know how to irrigate, but Don was only too happy to help her, and the romance continued to grow.
At the end of the summer, Erma went back to Kansas with her family, and Don made trips from Idaho back to Kansas.
They were married on December 31, 1950, and the young couple returned to Idaho to start married life.
A few years after they were married, they heard of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Became of a key family in a tiny branch they were baptized, and later sealed in the Salt Lake Temple.
With modest formal education, it took continual effort and pursuit of emerging opportunities to provide for his family. This meant quite a few changes in jobs and locations during their married life.
Erma has expressed it this way:
The homes we have lived in:
There have been trailer houses Big Houses Small Houses Tiny Houses Farm Houses Ranch Houses Old houses Two houses connected by a hallway – we shared this house with a skunk for a while New house Apartment Even the basement of a church
These homes have been:
In the country In the city In the mountains In the desert Next to a swimming pool And in between lakes
They have been in:
Idaho Oregon California Colorado And Utah
The jobs at these homes:
Farm jobs Dairy jobs Mechanic jobs Taking care of juvenile delinquents Worked on an experimental farm Ranching Helping build a sugar beet factory Building fences on government land Stacking hay Turning tires inside out
In these homes:
We made many friends We created our family We farmed We created and built a hay staking business We also created and built a tire turning business.
We have had many homes in many places and many jobs From those homes we now have a family that we are so proud of and thankful for Now they are creating their own homes. They are so very special and we are so proud of them.
(switch from relaying Mom’s “voice” to Mary Lou’s role as giving the life story)
Don and Erma have loved the last twenty years that they have lived here in New Plymouth. Not everyone in town knew Don’s name, but everyone knew “the tire man”.
Don celebrated his 88th birthday last August. Don and Erma just celebrated their 68th Wedding anniversary this past New Year’s Eve
They have a legacy of 4 children – Jim, Mary Lou, Vicki, and Bob – 19 Grandchildren, and 48 Great Grandchildren The last of which was born on the day he returned to his Father in Heaven.
We love you Dad and will greatly miss you.
Thank you all for your love and friendship to the Don Greenwood family.
- Viewing Saturday, January 26, 2019
- Funeral Service Saturday, January 26, 2019