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1935 Donald 2021

Donald Lester Menzel

March 16, 1935 — May 21, 2021

 Donald Lester Menzel

March 16, 1935 – May 21, 2021

    Donald “Don” Lester Menzel, 86, of Montrose, CO passed away on Monday, May 17, 2021 at St. Mary’s Hospital in Grand Junction surrounded by his beloved wife, Sheila, and family members after having suffered a stroke on Saturday.

Born March 16, 1935 in Canon City, CO the only child of Lester J. and Inez Lavena (Steele) Menzel. After the death of his father when he was six months old, he and Inez moved to his Grandpa Steele’s ranch in Nucla, CO. He attended grade school in Nucla and graduated from Delta High School Class of 1954.

On September 26, 1957 he married Georgia Lea (Budock-Jaharis) Greenfield and to this union two children were born, Preston Lester ”Corky”, (deceased, February 22, 2018) and Cydne Donell.  This marriage ended in divorce.

On May 27, 1972, he married Sheila (Ray) Banks in Montrose and was blessed to add her daughters, Roxanna Marie and Renee Banks to his family.

Don proudly served his county in the US Navy from July 1957 – July 1967. He was stationed in multiple places including; NAS Barber’s Point, Hawaii, NAS Jacksonville, FL, NAS Kingsville, TX, NAS Whidbey Island, Oak Harbor, WA and aboard the U.S.S Coral Sea air craft carrier as an aviation electrician mate 1st class. Don was injured during a routine flight in October 1966 when a defective catapult fired his twin-engine jet tanker airplane into the safety net and flipped over the edge of the bow of the ship into the sea off the coast of Vietnam.

Don joined the Colorado State Patrol in September 1967, retiring in August 1985 after having suffered a heart attack.  Duty stations included Norwood and Granby, CO.

Don will forever be missed by his loving wife, Sheila, of 49 years, along with his children, Cydne Menzel (Alvin Towell) of Delta, CO, Roxanna Banks Morrow of Grand Junction, CO, Renee Banks Jensen Wagler (Blake) of Thermopolis, WY, and daughter-in-law, Teresa Menzel, of Cory, CO.

His heart was also full of love for his grandchildren; Danielle Menzel Leech (Jesse), Rangely, CO, Jeremiah Menzel (Carly), Delta, CO, Craig Morrow (Amanda) Granby CO, Brandy Morrow Cooper (Corey), Waco, TX, SSgt, USMC, Chance Jensen, Camp Pendleton, CA, and TSgt, USAF, Corey Jensen, Air Force Base, Mildenhall, United Kingdom.  Also, great-grandchildren; Kalysta Menzel, Shealie Menzel, Zoie Menzel, Emily Jensen, Lenny Morrow, Dakota Morrow, Owen Cooper and Payton Cooper.

He leaves behind a large family of cousins, nieces, nephews and friends which is a testament to the kind of man he was.

He was preceded in death by his loving son, Preston “Corky” Menzel, parents, Lester and Inez Menzel, and step-father Elmer “Paddy” Sprague.

He was an avid hunter, fisherman, and expert marksman. He received numerous Navy medals for expert pistol shot and expert rifleman awards.   While stationed in Kingsville, he was a member of the US Naval rifle team winning the Navy Pacific Fleet Championship trophy.

After retiring from the State Patrol, he and Sheila moved to Grand Junction, CO in 1987 and on to Montrose, CO in 1996.

For the past twenty years, Don and Sheila traveled the lower 48 and Alaska in their motorhome, spending their winters in Rockport, TX.  Summers were spent boating on Lake Powell, camping and riding ATVs in the beautiful Colorado mountains.

Don was a member of the Grand Junction and Delta Trap Clubs, Montrose Elks Lodge and NRA.

A memorial Service will be held at 11:00 a.m., Saturday, May 29th, 2021 at Crippin Funeral Home in Montrose.  A potluck luncheon will follow at the Elks Lodge 1053, 801 S Hillcrest Drive, Montrose.

Memorial donations may be made to the charity of your choice.




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