Donald E. Black, 78 of Surprise, Arizona passed away November 6, 2014 in Peoria, Arizona. Funeral services will be 11:00 AM Wednesday, November 12, 2014 at the Mullinax Funeral Home in Butler, Missouri with Pastor Noel Scott officiating. Visitation will be Tuesday evening from 6-8 PM, and again Wednesday from 10-11 AM prior to the funeral service at the funeral home. Burial in Oak Hill Cemetery, Butler. Messages of condolence for the family may be left at www.mullinaxfuneralhome.com.
Donald (Don) Ernest Black, 78, of Surprise, Arizona passed away on Thursday, November 6, 2014 in Sun City, Arizona after a valiant six week fight to overcome crippling effects of the West Nile Virus.
Don was born August 25, 1936 in Butler, Missouri to Ernest and Frankie Black. He had two siblings, Winifred and Robert William (Bill). His parents were farmers and he spent his childhood days on his family farm. They were active members of the Church of God Holiness in Butler. He rode his horse each day to a one room schoolhouse named the Black School in honor of his family, where he attended from first through eighth grade. He went to high school his freshman, sophomore, and senior years in Butler, Missouri. His junior year he attended Kansas City College and Bible School. He returned to Kansas City College and Bible School for college to complete his bachelor’s degree. He enjoyed his college years immensely and talked about them on many occasions.
He was married August 15, 1958 to Mary Evelyn Nichols in Overland Park, KS. They had seven children: James William (Bill), Brian, Diana, Lyndal, Mary, Frank, and Linda. He returned to college and obtained his teaching certification. He then taught public school in Kingman and Miami, Arizona. In 1974, Don and his wife wanted the children to be in a Christian school and so made the move to Gravette, Arkansas, where he taught school at Gravette Holiness Bible School. He felt that this move made the total difference in how his children’s lives turned out. He was very proud of his children, especially in the fact that most have spent their careers in full-time Christian ministry.
In 1987, Don and his wife, Evelyn, moved to Surprise, Arizona. Evelyn passed away in 1990. After he retired, he remained active in the community by teaching a free English class to Spanish speakers. He remained in good health by riding his bike on a daily basis and eating nutritiously.
His passions included good health, reading, learning anything new, teaching English to Spanish speakers, gardening, meeting new people, and traveling. He visited his daughter Diana and her family in Moscow, Russia while they were missionaries there. He traveled to Mexico on several occasions and to Guatemala. He enjoyed visiting his children in the various places they were living. He took an extended trip this past summer, spending time in five states, attending a family reunion with his children, visiting some of his children in their home, seeing friends, and attending a camp meeting in Kansas. He loved to show others his plants and was especially proud of his oranges. He loved to learn about anything and read extensively about any topic of his interest, spending much of his time at the local library.
He is survived by six children: Bill Black and his wife Esther of Sheridan, IN, Dr. Brian Black and his wife Sharon from Penns Creek, PA, Diana Buege and her husband Rev. Andy of Hastings, MI, Rev. Lyndal Black and his wife Rebecca of Columbus, OH, Mary Fishback and her husband James of Bentonville, AR, and Rev. Frank Black and his wife Alyson of Baskin, LA; twenty-three grandchildren: Andrew Buege, Anna Buege, Alecia Black, Leah Black, Noah Buege, Nicholas Black, Brittany Fishback, Jonathan Black, Joel Buege, Brandon Fishback, Eric Black, Caleb Black, Anthony Black, Celeste Fishback, Evelyn Black, Nathaniel Black, Wesley Black, Dasha Buege, William Black, Geoffrey Black, Justin Fishback, Benjamin Black, and Emily Black; two siblings: Winifred Gaston and her husband Floyd of Butler, MO and Bill Black of San Diego, CA; nieces: Carol Burns and her husband Buddy and Theresa Brandt and her husband Keith, both of Olathe, KS; niece Josephine Schapeler and husband Wayne and other nieces and nephews. He will be missed by many others: his church family, the Weslyan Holiness Church of Phoenix, Sharon Smiley of Texoma, OK, his fellow seniors at the senior center, and many others.
He was reunited in heaven with his wife Evelyn Black, infant daughter Linda Black, mother Frankie Black, father Ernest Black, and two infant nieces.
He didn’t leave any doubts as to where he would spend eternity. He loved God and loved others. While he was hospitalized, he would ask the family to pray and sing Christian songs to him daily. On his last day, they sang the song, “It is Well With My Soul.” He nodded as they sang, drifted off to sleep and within an hour woke up in heaven.
A homecoming service celebrating his life will be held at the Mullinax Funeral Home in Butler, Missouri on Wednesday, November 12 at 11 a.m. A viewing will be Tuesday, November 11 from 6-8 p.m. and also from 10-11 on Wednesday before the service. Dr. Noel Scott will be officiating the service. Don will be buried in Oak Hill Cemetery in Butler where many of his relatives are also buried.