Donald Retherford

Carrollton |

On May 9, 2024 Donald Edward Retherford left this world from his daughter and son-in-law’s home in California, Maryland. He was born May 26, 1942 in Carrollton, Illinois to Francis Jacob Retherford and Clover Pauline Dierking. Don was a retired Mailman, truck driver, and served in the United States Navy from 1960-1969. He is preceded in death by his Mother, Father, brother Dale, half siblings Joy Ellen and Gary (their mother Louise), Grandparents Charles (Hoot) and Lela Elizabeth, and Pearl Dierking Paige. Don is survived by a daughter Teresa Cornelius (husband Mark), a son Donald Jr, and their mother Mary Kay Schnelten Dunham, and a step daughter Ann Szychowicz and her mother Elizabeth Novak. Also surviving are two grandsons Keith Cornelius (wife Brandie) and Daniel Cornelius, 13 Fry siblings born to Don and Dale’s mother and multitudes of nieces, nephews, and cousins.

Don never met a stranger and was on the road since he was 5 years old, pulling his wagon around Carrollton, Illinois delivering ice to his neighbors. He continued working as a bag boy, a pinsetter, and a projector operator at the movie theater until he entered the Navy upon graduating Carrollton high school in 1960. He played all sports growing up and played volley ball and softball in the Navy. He also coached little league and was an avid bowler for many years. Along with spending time as a Piasa Player in Alton’s little theater, he loved buying rounds for “buzzards and beauties” and dropping quarters in the jukebox to hear his favorite country songs. He was a fun-loving joker, and witty with words making us laugh almost until the very end. He was always waiting on that call from Hollywood, and in those final days in the front room on Victorian Drive, he asked “is this a Hollywood movie?”

Well Dad, you done good. You helped anyone who needed help. And always, you knew how to make a kid feel loved. As Don would always say, “Sing it, Willie.”

Per his request, he will be cremated and no services will be scheduled. A private family gathering will be held in the future to honor his memory. Airsman-Hires Funeral Home in Carrollton is assisting the family locally.

Memorials may be made in his honor to either charity listed below that assisted Don in his journey. The people from Hospice assisted in his final days with in-home care and were phenomenal. A Community That Cares (ACTS) is a charity that Don’s daughter works at as a volunteer and loans medical equipment at no cost to anyone in the community:

Medstar Hospice of St. Mary’s
P.O. Box 625
Leonardtown, MD 20650

P.O. Box 54
Bushwood, MD 20618

Obit Provided By:
Airsman Hires Funeral Home

Print Version

Join our mailing list Subscribe to our Daily Update
200 W. Third Street | Alton, IL 62002
Suite 200
HOME  |   Advertise With Us  |   Job Opportunities  |   Our Partners  |   Web Design Services  |   Contact US  |   Site Map   |  RSS Feeds  |  Email   |  Privacy Policy