Donald Malcome Moreland
September 1, 1928 – February 21, 2011
Donald Malcome Moreland was known as many things to many people. He was a loved one, a friend, and someone special. To family and friends who knew him best, Donald will be remembered as a very exceptional person.
Donald was born on September 1, 1928 at home in Vinton, La. He was the son of John Malcome Moreland and Ada Pearl Reed Moreland. Donald grew up in Vinton, La.
Donald was raised with four brothers and one sister. He had four older brothers, Joe Burl, Thomas Murl, Johnnie Jurl and Murray Warner and one sister Jewel Pearl. Now Donald was the youngest boy, his brothers were at least 12 years older than him. They were always picking on him and when their friends would come over the "picking" would double. One day they were all picking on him and he grabbed a boot to throw at them. He missed, it went right through the window. Donald was usually involved in all sorts of activities with his siblings. He and his siblings experienced rivalries typical of a growing family, but they shared many life experiences over the years.
As a young boy, Donald had a number of interests. Like most children, he enjoyed playing and making up games. He was curious about the world around him and was often eager to explore it and would spend a great deal of time climbing trees and loved baseball. In his spare time he liked to catch flying squirrels, he would tie a little string around their legs so they wouldn't get away from him and then he would let them run up and down his leg. He and his brother Jurl would try to tame them so they could take them to school. However, to Donald, the most fun to be had was simply playing and spending time with his friends.
A typical teenager, Donald had a fairly happy high school experience, making that critical transition from adolescence to adulthood. He graduated from Vinton High School in 1945. The teacher he enjoyed learning from the most was Miss Switzer. To Donald and his family graduating high school was his greatest accomplishment. Many times on his way to school he and his siblings had to pass through an area of high weeds and grass that ran along an old dirt trail. When his brothers and sister made it to the bus stop if Donald wasn't there they knew he was hiding in that tall grass somewhere. The times when he did get on the bus, if he changed his mind about going to school (he would pretend to be sick) he would have one of the older kids lower the window. Donald would jump out land in the ditch and roll in the mud. Once he even got on the roof of the barn and told his parents that if they tired to force him to go to school he would poke his eyes out with the knife and fork he took up there with him. So, graduating was an accomplishment for him.
Always considered a “good” friend to those he knew, Donald enjoyed a broad group of acquaintances and several very close friends during his lifetime. While growing up, some of his best friends were Burt Granger, Buford Parker and John Broomes. Later in life, he stayed friends with Burt, Buford and John. Donald was the type of person who could meet you for the first time and know right away if you were someone he wanted to have anything to do with. People like that are rare, so when bonds where made whether for friendship or business Donald truly knew the type of person he was associating with and for him to be friends with you, you knew with him that friendship was solid. One time Daddy and his friend Blanc Harrington where at a house and they found a bottle of Vodka hidden in a wall. While the two of them preceded to drink themselves silly. Daddy wobbled home and went straight to bed because he was so drunk on what he called "Vodaka". The next day Blanc called to check on him and Daddy told him he had the worst hangover he had ever had. Blanc said, "I don't see how, it turns out all we drank was water." The vodka bottle was filled with only water and they kept adding water to it thinking the bottle had vodka in it.
On December 24, 1949 Donald exchanged wedding vows with Opal Marie Breaux. Before I met Donald, I was suppose to have a date with a guy who stood me up, well I went to town looking for him to give him a good cussing. Instead I saw Donald and I stopped to talk to him and he asked me out. We went out that one time and after that he didn't call or come by. Well, one weekend my aunt and uncle came from Freeport and my Aunt Mick and took a drive. We drove in front of the Moreland house. He waved to me and I told Aunt Mick I was going to marry him. And I did! When Donald and I were married my momma told him, "I'll give you two years with her." On my parents 50th Anniversary I told my mother, "you owe him an apology, because we have been married much longer than two years." We were married in the Rectory of St. Joseph Catholic Church in Vinton, LA. Donald and I spent 61 years together. Empathic and loyal, Donald was committed to making his new family happy.
Donald worked hard to be a good father to his children and he did his best to fulfill their needs. Donald was blessed with two children, one daughter Donna Marlene and one son Donald Malcome, Jr. When Marlene was born, the doctor told Donald to make a choice between me or Marlene. Donald told him there was to be no choice and he had better save both or he would join them. Another blessing for Donald was the gift of three granddaughters and one grandson; Brittney, Darla, Laura and David. His great grandchildren are Jordan, Morgan, Kiana, TJ and Reed. We have some wonderful memories of him, like being outside in the yard with us, he would start singing "The Marine Corp Hymn". He would tell us about taking pride in our country and respecting our flag. He taught us about good work ethics and being fair to other people. Fossie would always make us laugh, especially when company was around and we would sit down to eat, he would say things like "pass the mountains and the muddy water", Which if you don't understand was mashed potatoes and gravy.
Fortunately, Donald enjoyed what he did for a living. Showing a strong work ethic, Donald worked diligently and did his best to succeed in his career. He was employed for 37 years with W. R. Grace and was recognized for his work ethics. He had not missed a single day of work for 10 consecutive years. Donald always sought to be a team player, doing what was necessary in order to get the job done.
He was World War II Veteran in the Marine Corp from 1945 to 1949. His basic training was in Paris Island, SC. Donald was then stationed on the Island of Guam and then served a tour in China. Upon setting foot in China he witnessed the beheading of some of the native peoples by their own government. From that day forward he would pass out from the site of blood. Through his hard work, he achieved the rank of Staff Sergeant. His fellow soldiers viewed him as a brother in arms and knew that he was as much a part of their family as their loved ones back home.
Donald enjoyed his leisure time by taking part in various hobbies. His favorite pursuits were hunting and fishing. Daddy loved to go to the "marsh". We would go with two other families, The Herschel Sandifers' and The Raywood Broussard's. On the way we would pass Raywood's house and Daddy would blow the horn. They would know we were on our way to the marsh and would meet us there. On one trip to the marsh we came upon an area that was typically dry. It was covered in about a foot of water. We decided to play water baseball. We pulled up grass clumps as bases which almost immediately begin to float away. We would end up chasing the bases down, because when we would hit the ball and run towards the base the bases would float away. We laughed more than we played baseball that day. Raywood had an old car that he had cut the top off and that was his convertible. Daddy had an old station wagon that had holes in the floorboards and that was our convertible. They would fill both of the cars with us kids and drive crazily through the marsh cutting dough nuts. Opal, Oneta, and May would be watching everything screaming their heads off to stop and the kids would be screaming their heads off "do it again dad." And the dad's did.
One Sunday we had a BBQ. Donald and Herschel had gone early to start cooking. When we got there he told me to go look and see how pretty the meat was. When I did, laying on the pit was a wolf's head. I started screaming! That wolf's head was staring at me with it teeth bearing out at me.
Donald enjoyed his time alone, but was also willing to share his interest and fun times with family and friends..
Donald enjoyed sports. Recreational sports included a company league baseball team where he played in centerfield and the shortstop positions. He even received a call from a Farm League for a major league team. He went and tried out, but he didn't make the team. Donald was also something of a sports fan and enjoyed following his favorite events whenever he had the chance to do so. Tops on his list were baseball and football where he was "the arm chair quarterback coach". Donald was a man who took pride in upholding his beliefs. So it is little wonder that he took an active role in his community, Donald was involved with the Masonic Lodge and later he became a Shriner, something he was very proud of. Being a proud veteran he was also a member of the DeRidder VFW.
Donald’s faith was important to him. He was a member of Vinton Welsh United Methodist Church for 50 years.
Donald was a lover of animals and cherished his pets. His favorites were Big Whitey a Heinz 57, Misty a white poodle and his family was rounded out by his Chihuahua named Chico.
When Donald’s retirement finally arrived in September, 1990 they had a huge retirement party for him with W. R. Grace. Donald felt fulfilled with the opportunities retirement offered him.
At 6:55 a.m. on February 21, 2011, the Angels entered our home and quietly took Donald home. About three days before he passed away, I went in to see him that morning to check on him and give him a kiss. He told me, "I saw Donnie and he is waiting for me at he Gates of Heaven and he told me it was ok to come." Donald's face just lit up when he told this to me. Donald developed lung cancer from Mesothelioma and fought the battle for a long time. He is survived by his wife Opal Breaux Moreland, one daughter; Donna Marlene Broussard and husband Charles, one sister; Pearl Bujard, four grandchildren; Brittney Doiron and her husband Shannon, Darla Collins and her husband Erick, Laura Broussard Allain, and David Charles Broussard; five great grandchildren; Jordan and Morgan Doiron, Kiana and TJ Collins, and Reed Allain. He is preceded in death by his parents, four brothers and his son Donnie Moreland, Jr. Services were held at Vinton Welsh United Methodist Church. Donald was laid to rest in the Reed Family Cemetery in Vinton, Louisiana. His services were officiated by Rev. Kathy Fitzhugh.
After Donald's service, a church member sent me a card that said , it was the best funeral ever. People should have been dancing in the isles. Notices on Facebook talked about my Daddy and how he'll be remembered. One of the things I had forgotten about was how he would teach people to blew through their hands. He will be remembered and cherished by all of us.
Simply stated, Donald was a good and kind person, an individual who will for all time be remembered by his family and friends as being a caring and giving person, someone who was a vital part of their lives. Donald leaves behind him a legacy of life-long friendships and many cherished memories. Everyone whose life he touched will always remember Donald Malcome Moreland.
We will always love you!
- Funeral Service Thursday, February 24, 2011
- Visitation Wednesday, February 23, 2011
- Visitation Friday, April 1, 2011
Donald Malcome Moreland
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April 5, 2011
I'm so sorry for your loss. These pictures are such a treasure and I know must provide you comfort to remember the good times. My prayers are still with all of you! Love Rhonda Courmier and family
February 24, 2011
I love the pictures of Uncle Donald. He will surely be missed by everyone. He touched so many hearts while here and I know he is looking down on us with a rested soul now. I will always remember him trying to teach all the grandkids how to whistle with our hands. I'm sure he's whistling with the other angels now. May God make this time as easy as possible on you. We love you.
February 24, 2011
Mr. Donald was such a fun loving person. Our families used to camp out at Bundicks Lake together so many years ago. My dad called him "Whistle Fists". His whistle music was the best. Ms. Opal, you and your family are in our prayers. God Bless.
Shannon (Sandifer) Wald
February 24, 2011
I just viewed the video online and was so happy to get to see so many wonderful pictures of Donald through the years and of all the family- what a treasure these photos are! My heart is so much with you all this week- since we can't be there, I'll be in prayer during the service tomorrow. I'll miss this special, sweet man so much~ his humor and whistle playing are two of my very favorite childhood memories....there will never be another like Donald Moreland. May he rest in peace eternally with Jesus. God Bless you All!!
Diana Benoit Bereavement Coordinator
February 23, 2011
May you feel God's presence and comfort at this time. It was a pleasure getting to know you all. I know Mr. Donald is resting in His arms now.
On Behalf of the Lake Charles Heart of Hospice Staff.