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Donald Wesley Mahnken
July 22, 1927 - October 1, 2009
Donald Wesley Mahnken, 82, passed away in his home in Springfield on October 1, 2009, after a two year battle with cancer. He was born July 22, 1927, to Benjamin Franklin and Ruth Hotsenpiller Mahnken, in his grandparents' Smithton home. He was married to the former Glendora Stapp on July 14, 1957. He was preceded in death by his parents; and his only brother, David. After graduating from Smithton High School in 1945, he worked briefly as an apprentice in sheet metal work and pipefitting at the Missouri Pacific Lines shops in Sedalia. He took a reporter's job with the Sedalia Democrat-Capital on December 2, 1945, with his only qualifications being the ability to type about 40 words per minute. Thus began his career as a self-made newspaperman. Learning photography and photo-engraving while in Sedalia for 2 1/2 years, Don worked as a reporter-photographer on the Coffeyville, Kansas Daily Journal, and later as sports editor-photographer at the Fort Madison, Iowa Evening Democrat. He returned to Missouri as sports editor of the morning Springfield Daily News on March 3, 1952. After 15 years, he took a job on the news desk at night and was named Daily News City Editor in January, 1969. He became editor of the Daily News, which at that time had a 33,000 daily circulation, in 1979. With the sale of the privately owned paper and it's sister publication, the evening Leader & Press, to the Gannett Company, Don stepped down as editor in 1980 and filled out his working years until retirement in 1990 as projects editor, editorial department editor, layout editor, human interest writer and business reporter. He was raised in Smithton Methodist Church and had been an active member of Schweitzer United Methodist Church for 51 years. He taught children, youth and adult classes through the years. He was a member of the Homebuilders Sunday School Class. He also served on the board and was a member of the Historical Committee of the church. Don especially loved putting around his yard and spending time with his grandchildren, who he adored. He was a long time supporter of the Quarterback and Tipoff Clubs. He also supported the Missouri State University men's basketball program. He loved to travel and was an avid reader. He is survived by his wife, Glendora of the home; his three daughters and their husbands (who he considered his own), Susan and Bill Prince of Springfield, April and Ben Rooffener of Macks Creek, and Julie and Craig Harris of Shiloh, Illinois; seven grandchildren, Katie Rooffener, Tyler Harris, James Rooffener, Matthew Prince, Samuel Rooffener, Sean Harris and Jacob Prince; two nephews, Steve Mahnken of Shawnee, Kansas, and Steve McMillin of Farmington, Missouri; three nieces, Carol Marshall of Kansas City, Missouri, Sherri Mahnken of Littleton, Colorado, and Cheryl Bowers of Bolivar, Missouri; and a sister-in-law and her husband, Nancy and Dean McMillin of Bolivar, Mo. Visitation will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. Sunday, October 4, in Gorman-Scharpf Funeral Home, Brentwood Chapel, 1947 East Seminole. Funeral services will be held Monday, October 5, at 11 a.m., in Schweitzer Methodist Church on East Sunshine. Burial will follow at 2 p.m. in Pennsboro Cemetery, south of Greenfield, Missouri. Memorial contributions are suggested to Hospice Compassus and Crosslines.


Funeral Services

Monday October 5, 2009, 11:00 AM at Schweitzer United Methodist Church
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  Born: July 22, 1927
  Place of Birth: Smithton, Missouri
  Death: October 1, 2009
  Place of Death: Springfield, Missouri