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Donald E. Wolfenbarger


Donald Eugene Wolfenbarger

Donald Eugene Wolfenbarger, age 90, of Greenwood, Missouri, passed away on June 8, 2024. Born on November 26, 1933 to Helen and Marshall Wolfenbarger in Independence, Missouri, he met his future wife, Shirley Kofford, at William Chrisman High School.  After high school graduation Don tried Community College, but decided he couldn’t live without Shirley and followed her to University of Missouri/Columbia where he was a member of the Phi Kappa Psi fraternity.  He also joined R.O.T.C.  Don and Shirley married on June 21, 1953 after their sophomore year, and were jointly inducted into Phi Beta Kappa at MU.

After graduating with a Bachelor of Sciences degree in Botany in May 1955, Don went into the Army.  His training as a paratrooper at Fort Moore (Benning) earned him the Parachutist Badge.  Don was then posted to Germany where he served in the 552d AAA battalion as a heavy / light AAA unit commander as a 1st Lieutenant.  Although he didn’t talk much about his service when younger, in his later years he fondly remembered “jumping out of airplanes.”

When he came back from Germany, Don started a new job that wanted to transfer him to another city.  Not wanting to leave Jackson County, he began a long career as an agent for Allstate Insurance.  Don and Shirley had three children:  daughters Deon (Doug Hintzman) Wolfenbarger and Elaine (Greg) Larsen, and son Kurt Wolfenbarger. Don was predeceased by his father Marshall Ira Wolfenbarger, mother Helen Julia Bowlin Wolfenbarger, and brother Marshall (Pat) Wolfenbarger.  He is survived by his wife of 70+ years Shirley Kofford Wolfenbarger, brother Charles Wolfenbarger, daughters Deon and Elaine, son Kurt, grandchildren Macy Hintzman, Zane Hintzman, Alex Larsen, Kelsey (Joshua Weber) Larsen-Weber, and great-granddaughter Lainey Larsen-Weber, as well as nieces and a nephew.

Don was an avid country music fan, but was even more enthusiastic about sports.  His high school participation in football later translated to a passion for golf.  In retirement, he enjoyed time spent with his golfing buddies at Twin Pines Country Club in Harrisonville, but his trips to the courses around the country as well as tournaments like the Masters were highlights of his golfing hobby. Don also served as a Golf Marshal at many local tournaments. He played golf as long as he could, and later enjoyed watching it.  Don was a huge MU and Chiefs fan, even attending the first Super Bowl over fifty years ago. He had an enormous heart and a wry sense of humor.  Next to his wife Shirley, his canine companions meant the world to him.  He is now taking long walks with all of his Basset Hounds and other dogs. 

Details for services will be forthcoming.  In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to a charity of choice or the Beagle and Basset Rescue of the Heartland, who helped find a loving home for his last sweet pup – Ellie Mae.

1 Comment

  • Cheryl J Skinner Tri-State Military Museum Posted June 15, 2024 6:15 am

    May the love of God surround you and your family during this difficult time,
    May you come to know that the love of God is with you always,

    May your memories of Donald E. Wolfenbarger, give you peace, comfort and strength…

    Rest now in the arms of our Lord your mission on earth is complete.
    I thank you for your service to our Country and my Freedom. You will not be forgotten.
    My thoughts
    and prayers to the family of ….

    US Army Veteran, Donald E. Wolfenbarger, is “A True American Hero” God Bless†

    † Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. John 15:13 †

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