Don, the oldest child of John D. and Barbara Strobel, was born at his maternal grandparents, Fredrick and Elizabeth (Sackman) Strobel’s Cabin Creek farm on Dec. 28, 1932. This is the story told about his birth: His mother, “Barbs” was doctoring in Glendive. As her due date neared, she went to stay in Glendive as her family feared the possibility of bad weather and roads. There was a family wedding scheduled for Christmas Day and the baby hadn’t come. Barbs went home for the wedding and never made it back to Glendive. The doctor and his nurse boarded a train in Terry, rode it to Marsh where they were met by Fred Strobel and taken to the farm to assist in the delivery.
Don spent his youth at several places in the Cabin Creek area. He attended the Bossert and Strobel rural elementary schools. Don grew up doing what every other farm boy did. He began milking cows at the age of 5; he helped care for the animals (hated cleaning the chicken coop!) and other chores. He belonged to 4-H. He remembered sitting on a hay rake pulled by horses, helping his grandfather. He graduated from Terry High School in 1951. While in high school he boarded at various homes or ‘batched’ with friends or siblings as there was no school bus service to the Cabin Creek area. After graduating he worked on the family farm with his parents.
Don married Marian Kuehn on Oct. 4, 1958. They farmed and ranched on the Fred Strobel place. They raised three daughters there. In 1994 they sold the farm and moved to Terry, and Don continued his love of farming by frequently helping farm-ranch friends for many years.
Don served the community in his quiet way. Some of these entities include Fallon Farmer’s Union Board, ASCS committee, Terry School Board, Grace Lutheran Church trustee, and Cabin Creek volunteer firefighter. Activities he enjoyed were bowling on the Fallon Feedlot team, Cabin Creek neighborhood gatherings, square dancing, playing cards with friends and family, traveling to his grandchildren’s school events, and attending various Terry school sporting events. But his family brought Don his greatest joy. Until the very end, his grandchildren and great-grandchildren continued to bring a twinkle to his sparkling blue eyes. He was a man of great patience and integrity, the foundation of a large and loving family that admired him greatly.
Preceding him in death are his parents, Jack and Barbs Strobel and his brother Dale. Don is survived by Marian, his wife of 59 years, their daughters: Donita (Duane) Malkuch along with their children Amie (Jace) Schillinger and Tyler (Mandy) Malkuch; Tina Colstad and daughters Brielle (Tanner) Oldenburger, Maggie (Trevin) Anderson, and Erika; and Karla (Bruce) Hoffman and children Seth and Ellie Hoffman. Great-grandchildren include Lola, Grady, and Vaida Schillinger, Kane Oldenburger, and Ozzy Malkuch. Don’s siblings are Marvin (Carol) Strobel and Flo (Vern) Fruit and numerous nieces and nephews.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Grace Lutheran Church, Terry High School Honor Society Scholarship Fund, or the Prairie Community Hospital.