Donald Wayne Blecha, 91, of Apache Junction, Ariz. died in hospice care on Tuesday, September 4, 2013.
He was born September 22, 1921, to Albert and Maggie Blecha. He was the third of five children. Donald was raised on a small farm near Merricourt, N.D., where he attended school until the 8th grade. His early life found him working and helping his father on their farm, riding the rails to find work on other farms in the Midwest during the depression, and joining the CCC's where he learned the Mechanics trade.
On August 10, 1942, Donald married Dorothea Grewatz in Edgeley, N.D. For the next four years they lived on his father’s farm and helped farm the land. During the winter months Donald would work in Edgeley as a mechanic. In the fall of 1946 Donald moved his family to Edmore, N.D. where he lived and worked as a mechanic for the Case and Chevrolet dealership and in his own business D&G Auto Service for 23 years. While in Edmore, Donald was active in the Edmore Rural Fire Department, Edmore Ambulance Service, the Edmore Curling Club, and other civic and fraternal organizations. In 1969 he sold his business in Edmore and moved to Grand Forks, N.D. where he worked for the city of Grand Forks as a mechanic at their airport. After retirement, Donald and his wife Dorothea spent their winters in Apache Junction. They moved there full time in 1998. In his retirement, Donald spent many hours restoring 1928-31 Model A Fords. He estimated that he had restored about 30 of them. He gave one to each of his five children and sold the rest of them to friends and acquaintances.
Donald is survived by his five children, Kirk & Cheryll Blecha of Clatskanie, Ore., Crystal Myrvik of Tipton, IA, Brian Blecha of Apache Junction, Ariz., Renee and Mike Schwitzer of Granger, Tex., and Denise Blecha of New Lebanon, OH; his brother, Gayle Blecha of Eugene, Ore.; seven living grandchildren, 16 great-grandchildren and seven great-great-grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his wife Dorothea; son-in-law, Richard Myrvik; grandson, Scott Blecha; brothers, Clarence Blecha, Cleo Blecha; sister, Mary Blecha; and his parents.
At his request, no service will be held.
Memorial contributions can be made to any local Hospice. Private interment will be held at Murray Hill Cemetery in Clatskanie, OR.
Mountain View Funeral Home of Mesa, AZ is in charge of arrangements.