Obituary for Donald "Don" Halterman
Donald Wells Halterman, 69, of Salem, Virginia, went to be with the Lord on January 8, 2018, after a relatively brief illness.
A graduate of Andrew Lewis High (1966) and Roanoke College (1970), Don earned a degree majoring in political science that nurtured his curiosity about the world. As part of his education, he took a trip abroad with Professor Miles Masters, particularly enjoying visits to Rome and the Holy Land. As he always said, Don knew his Uncle Sam had a job for him upon commencement and enlisted in the US Army. During the 1970s, he served in Germany and at the Pentagon, residing in Georgetown area while stationed there. Upon his return to Salem, he began work at Surface Equipment, later James River Equipment, where he would serve a loyal career of over forty years supporting the construction industry, retiring in 2016.
Don and his treasured wife Anita were married in 1974 and would have celebrated their 44th anniversary in March. They honeymooned in Williamsburg, Virginia, establishing a lifelong fondness for the area they would later impart to their children. Their sons Justin Wells and Dustin (Dusty) Christopher were greatly influenced by Don's commitment to spending time with his family and enjoyed travels together to historic sites including Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. He greatly appreciated the simple beauty of Holden Beach, North Carolina, where the family took a near-annual trip, and of Jamestown, Virginia.
Don attended Salem Baptist Church with a long period of service as a deacon and taught preschool Sunday School for many years. Well-known for heartfelt prayers at family and company events, Don spent many hours reading religious books and learning Christian history. He deeply appreciated the significance of holidays, was able to enjoy the 2017 Christmas season, and, as Dickens said, could always keep Christmas well.
Across his life, Don cared deeply for many pets, including cats and dogs as well as a rabbit and a chicken that were the source of many humorous family stories. As he always valued the importance of animals and their human companions, he suggested for many years that he one day wished to be remembered via contributions to the St. Francis Service Dog Foundation. His current cat, Miss Kitty, will remain in Anita's care.
In addition to his adoring wife, Anita and devoted sons Justin and Dusty, Don is survived by daughters-in-law Kim (Justin) and Elizabeth (Dusty) as well as Justin and Kim's two children, Elijah Wells (8) and Guinevere Lawton (4). "Papa" to the grandchildren, Don adored spending time playing games and chatting with them. Also remaining to cherish his memory are Anita's mother June Lockard and her sisters Melody Leah and Dreama Neikirk. As Don was an only child, Melody and her husband Gary as well as Dreama and her husband Steve were very close family. Additional survivors include treasured nieces Brittany Murray and Cara and Taylor Neikirk as well as special cousins residing in North Carolina and West Virginia. He is remembered fondly by many associates from work, friends from church, and neighbors. Don was preceded in death by his loving parents Benoist Wells and Mary (Canterbury) Halterman as well as by several beloved aunts and uncles who became like parents after his own parents had passed.
The family wishes to express sincere appreciation to Don's healthcare providers, including particularly Dr. Nina Sweeney.
A period of visitation will be held from 6 until 8 p.m. on Friday, January 12, 2018 on John M. Oakey & Son Funeral Home. A funeral service will be held on 10 a.m. on Saturday, January 13, 2018 at the funeral home with Rev. Don Summerville and Rev. Everett Kier officiating.