Life Story Service
Saturday, April 1, 2023
1:00 PM to 3:00 PM EDT
Betzler Life Story Funeral Homes
6080 Stadium Drive
Kalamazoo, MI 49009
Where food, drinks, and stories will be shared.
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.
Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.
Life Story / Obituary
Don Oman was a loving husband, father, and grandfather. He lived his life fully by extending himself selflessly to others over the years. An avid outdoorsman, he was known to catch more than his fair share of fish from time to time, and treasured sharing his love of fishing with his loved ones over the years. Don leaves behind a wonderful collection of memories that will forever be remembered by all who knew and loved him.
So much of our nation’s history was characterized by the year 1941. It was the year that marked the fateful attack by the Japanese at Pearl Harbor. Glenn Miller's "Chattanooga Choo Choo" was the number-one hit single and Franklin D. Roosevelt was leading the United States into unprecedented times. Maynard and Evelyn (Gustafson) Oman welcomed home their newborn son, Donald, on December 12th. His birth brought great joy and promise during an era of great change.
Don lived an active childhood. He enjoyed fishing with his dad and spending time in nature. A close second to spending time fishing was his love of cars. As a teenager, Don rebuilt a ‘49 Chevy and took great pride in his work. He was known to fix up cars and race them from time to time. His hot wheels landed him the catch of his life, Mary Lou Weyenberg. Set up on a blind date in 1960 by her cousin, Mary Lou was smitten the moment their eyes met. She liked his sky-blue eyes, his beautiful hands, his height, and his knowledge of all things that needed fixing! She also loved to ride in his fast cars! The two of them hit it off right from the start and joined in marriage on March 2, 1962, in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Together they welcomed home three wonderful children: Brian, Keith, and Brett.
Everything that Don set his mind to do, he did with great passion. A quick learner, he started out working in the paper mills as a teen and eventually worked his way up through the printing trade. For nearly thirty years, Don worked at Kalamazoo Label Company as an Offset Pressman running the machines that made packaging labels for cereal boxes, wine bottles, and more. He loved taking the kids snowmobiling in the winter months and in the warmer summer months he and Mary Lou took the kids camping. Don often found a fishing hole nearby. Many of these trips included getting to know their neighbors in the campgrounds and playing cards and horseshoes while the kids would go off and play together. Don taught his sons to work hard and to always leave things better than they found them. He believed in a strong work ethic and providing for loved ones. He instilled in them the character trait of being brave and working through life’s struggles.
When they weren’t camping, Don spent nearly every weekend fishing. Skilled with a wealth of knowledge on the water, Don also joined several Michigan Steel Headers fishing groups. A highlight of these years was teaching his grandkids how to fish and the love of the outdoors. He enjoyed taking them along on fishing trips and hiding candy in the boat for the children to find! Each trip started off with fresh scrambled eggs and butter-fried potatoes in the morning before a long day of fishing. On holidays he always made his famous French Onion soup as requested by his grandchildren. A proud grandfather, Don always made it a point to attend their games and special events. Another favorite pastime was taking his grandkids for rides on his John Deer lawn mower around the yard. Active and engaged, Don equally looked forward to their special moments together.
Don held a wide array of special interests. He loved attending local car shows and was an active member of the Kalamazoo Corvette Club. The proud owner of two Corvettes, he won several trophies at car shows. One lucky time was when a Matchbox salesman in attendance took a photo of Don’s Corvette and modeled a Matchbox Car after it! When things slowed down in his later years, Don enjoyed watching and feeding birds. He was especially a fan of hummingbirds and special visits from the Cardinals. No matter what, Don treated everything he owned with great care. From his lawn, his boats, and his cars, he kept them all in perfect repair. Aside from these items was the great attention and priority he gave to his family.
Don leaves a legacy of being positive and outgoing. He had a larger-than-life sense of humor and thoroughly enjoyed making others laugh. He loved making silly comments and bad dad jokes to put everyone at ease. In his final days, he especially loved making his nurses laugh! They enjoyed his charming demeanor and tenderly cared for him. Throughout his life, Don found great solace in nature and looked for spiritual guidance whenever he was out on the water or in the woods. His love of nature gifted him with many blessings over the years. There is no doubt that Don will be deeply missed and lovingly remembered by his many special friends and loved ones. May they always find comfort whenever they are visited by a Cardinal knowing that he is near.
Donald Oman of Portage, age 81, died on March 27, 2023. He was preceded in death by his son, Brian; siblings: Maynard “Bub” Oman, Priscilla Moats, and Geraldine Smith; and his parents. Surviving are his wife, Mary Lou; children: Keith (Tori) Oman and Brett (Beth) Oman; grandchildren: Amanda Owen, Alyssa (Dan) Riley, Ryan (Katie) Jordan, Jacob (Alyssa) Jordan, Jeremy Oman (fiancé Keilee), Benjamin Oman, Jonah Oman (fiancé Sierra), Noelle Oman, and Marah Oman; numerous great-grandchildren; sister, Linnea (Denny) Robbins; and many nieces and nephews.
Please join us at a Life Story Service on Saturday, April 1 at 12 PM at Betzler Life Story Funeral Homes, 6080 Stadium Drive, Kalamazoo (269) 375-2900. Visitation will be held one hour prior. A reception will follow in the Life Story Center where food, drinks, and stories can be shared. Burial will be on Monday, April 3 at 1 PM at Mt. Ever Rest Memorial Park South. Visit Don’s webpage at BetzlerLifeStory.com to archive favorite memories, photos, and to sign his guestbook. Memorial contributions may be made to Kairos Dwelling or Centrica Care Navigators, FBO Rose Arbor Hospice.