Where Food, Drinks & Stories Are Shared

Don Barraia

June 25, 1944 - May 20, 2019
Kalamazoo, MI


Memorial Service

Thursday, May 23, 2019
2:00 PM EDT
Betzler Life Story Funeral Homes
Kalamazoo Location
6080 Stadium Drive
Kalamazoo, MI 49009
(269) 375-2900

The family will receive friends starting at 1 PM.

Driving Directions


At the family's request memorial contributions are to be made to those listed below. Please forward payment directly to the memorial of your choice.

Hospice Care of Southwest Michigan
222 N. Kalamazoo Mall, Ste. 100
Kalamazoo, MI 49007
(269) 345-0273
Driving Directions
Web Site


Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.

1830 S. Westnedge
Kalamazoo, MI 49008
(269) 349-4961
Driving Directions
Web Site

Life Story / Obituary


When reflecting on the life of Don, words such as a hard-working resilient and independent come to mind, yet the word that is most for filling to describe him would be selfless. Don had a generous heart and love to share his resources with his growing family that he loved and adored. Don was an exceptionally loving and caring man. A family man through and through, he leaves behind a wonderful collection of fun memories shared over the years for his many close friends and family.

Don was born as the youngest son to Margaret Houghtaling and Jerome Barraia on June 25 1944 in Chicago Illinois. Don lived a happy childhood full of adventure. He enjoyed running the neighborhood for long hours, but had to be home when the streetlights came on.

He shared 4 children: Sherry Gina Margaret and Don with his first wife Carol. Don moved from Chicago and took a job with Bangor plastics, and enjoyed living in 3 acres in the country.

Manners and proper etiquette were important in Don’s life and they were instilled in his children. A strong hand shake and greeting was Important to him throughout his life. Don also enjoyed taking his family on vacations. Disney World what is his favorite destinations.

Don was a plant manager at W-L molding for 38 years before retiring in 2014.

After his marriage ended with Carol he met Jeanette they were together for 27 years and recently married on April 6, 2018. Both Don and Jeanette love the theater, wine tasting events, local breweries as well as traveling.

Don enjoyed cooking, grilling by the pool and entertaining friends and family, and listening to Jimmy Buffett. It was very important for Don to stay healthy and fit and he enjoyed working out.

Whenever Don was around there was fun to be had. He loved his role as a grandfather of 11 and was happy to be blessed with 3 great grandchildren. Don also loved watching his laser disk movies and old westerns, James Bond and Pirates of the Caribbean.

Don always lived his life to the fullest.

He had a hard time allowing others to take care of him when he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s. Thankfully he had Jeanette right by his side and support him on his journey. His warm sense of humor and tender loving ways will be dearly missed by all who knew and loved him. His love was never a doubt nor the sincerity of the love he had for each and everyone.