Donald Lee Mikesell, age 94, of Richmond, Indiana, died Thursday, June 30, 2022, at the home he loved.
Born October 31, 1927, in Richmond, Indiana, to Pharon and Grace Wilson Mikesell, Don was a proud life-long resident of Richmond, graduating from Richmond High School in 1945.
Upon turning age 18, Don joined the US Navy and following his active-duty discharge was in the reserves. Don attended Earlham College and Ball State University, obtaining an associate degree in transportation management. He spent much of his career as a truck driver with Commercial Motor Freight and ABF Freight, retiring in 1995.
Beyond his family, Don had three loves – high school basketball, auto racing and the circus. Don was a fixture in local and state gyms and spent his life attending games, where he kept score in the night’s program. Boys’ basketball was his first love but in his later years he greatly enjoyed girls’ basketball following connections he made at Richmond, Tri-Village and Northeastern high schools and Wright State University. He also was a fixture at the Richmond YMCA shooting baskets for two hours a day four days a week until he was past the age of 90. He raced stock cars and sprint cars on area tracks in the late 1940s and early 1950s and attended races for decades. He loved everything about the circus and was often on fairground sites early in the morning and late at night watching the set up and take down of the big top tent, along with the unloading of the animals. Annual family vacations to Milwaukee, Wisc., and Sarasota, Fla., often revolved around circus parades and events. In Don’s later years he was a member of First English Lutheran Church, and a regular member of the early morning breakfast crowd at Bob Evans. He was a humble, kind, and mild-mannered man, a devoted husband and father, and a friend to many. He will be missed.
Survivors include his son, David (Kelly) Mikesell of Carmel, Indiana; grandson, Dr. Carter Mikesell of Akron, Ohio; sister-in-law, Marilyn Ramey of Bloomington, Indiana; and nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his wife of 52 years, Betty L. Foote Mikesell; son, Robert Hugh Mikesell; sister, Phyllis; and brothers, Gerald, Willard, and Richard.
Visitation for Donald Lee Mikesell will be from 10:00 to 11:00 a.m. Friday, July 8, 2022, at Doan & Mills Funeral Home, 790 National Road West, Richmond. Funeral service will follow at 11:00 a.m. at Doan & Mills with Pastor Chip Belanga and Pastor John Walker officiating. Burial to follow in Earlham Cemetery.
Memorial contributions may be made to: Richmond Family YMCA, 1215 South J Street, Richmond, Indiana 47374.
Condolences may be sent to the family via the guest book at www.doanmillsfuneralhome.com.