Don Irons, former longtime resident of rural Minneola, KS, passed away on December 26, 2016, in Edmond, OK, after a 5 1/2 year battle with cancer. He was born on November 9, 1945, in Goosecreek, TX, to parents Roy and Margaret Irons. He left this world at the age of 71. Don graduated from Minneola High School where he was active in football, basketball, track, summer baseball and a little bit of mischief. His advice to his grandkids was always, “Don’t do anything I wouldn’t do.” He then went to Northwestern Oklahoma State University in Alva, OK, where he played basketball for the Rangers and received his degree in industrial arts. During this time, he married his high school sweetheart Bonnie Ridge on December 19, 1965. In December 2015, they had a big celebration for their 50th wedding anniversary with family and friends. Don and Bonnie were married 51 years. After Don and Bonnie finished their bachelor degrees at Northwestern, they moved to Pittsburg, KS, where Don received his master’s degree in education administration. While in Pittsburg, their first son Bryan was born. Don and Bonnie then moved to Tribune, KS, where Don coached basketball two years, and one year his team went to state. Their only daughter Teena was born while at Tribune. Next, they moved to Spearville, KS, where Don spent one year as principal. The farm continued to call Don home, so in 1970 Don and Bonnie moved back to Minneola, KS, to help his dad with the family farm. In 1973 their family was complete with the birth of Darren. Don and Bonnie, with the help of their young family, built a house on the farm north of Minneola in 1976 that they called home for the past 40 years. They had just recently moved from the farm to Edmond, OK, to be closer to their kids and grandkids. Don was super proud of his grandkids and enjoyed taking in as many activities as possible. Don was in many ways born before his time…always a visionary for ways things could be done differently or more efficiently particularly in the areas of grain storage, irrigation and no-till farming. In 2009, Don and Bonnie were given the award of Master Farmer and Master Farm Homemaker by the Kansas State University Research and Extension and the Kansas Farm magazine. He served his community as a school board member and his church as a teacher, a home group leader and a board member. Don and Bonnie purchased a mountain home in 1989 that they shared with family and many church groups as a retreat home. Don also enjoyed mentoring men in farming and finances, and his most rewarding experience was mentoring new Christians. He was an active member of Dodge City Church of the Nazarene.Don was preceded in death by his dad in 1989. Survivors include his wife, Bonnie of Edmond, OK; three children, Bryan Irons and wife Kendra of Irving, TX, Teena Cotham and husband Link of Ponca City, OK, and Darren Irons and wife Angela of Edmond, OK; five grandkids, Kelsey and Aubrey Cotham of Ponca City, OK, and Madilyn, Austin and Kate Irons of Edmond, OK; his mother, Margaret Irons of Blue Springs, MO; and his two brothers, Bill Irons and wife Mary of Lee’s Summit, MO, and Kerry Irons and wife Loeen of Waco, TX. Visitation will be held from 5:00-7:00 p.m. on Thursday, December 29, 2016, at the Dodge City Church of the Nazarene, 1700 W. Ross Blvd, Dodge City, KS. A funeral service and celebration of Don’s life will be held 10:30 a.m. Friday, December 30, 2016, at the Dodge City Church of the Nazarene. Burial will follow at 11:00 a.m. Saturday, December 31, 2016, at Memorial Park Cemetery, 13313 North Kelley Avenue, Oklahoma City, OK. Memorials in honor of Don may be given to the Dodge City Church of the Nazarene or the First Church of the Nazarene, Edmond, OK in care of Fleener Funeral Home, P.O. Box 41, Greensburg, KS 67054-0041.
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