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Donald Ray Vance
February 12, 1939 ~ October 20, 2023 (age 84) 84 Years Old
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Donald Ray Vance was born in Cave City, Arkansas to Euric and Maude (Ring) Vance on February 12, 1939. Euric and Maude had eight sons and one daughter. Don went to his Heavenly home on October 20, 2023.
Don attended high school in Manila, Arkansas and graduated in 1957. He received a basketball scholarship to Arkansas Tech University, then transferred to Washington University in St. Louis. Don was featured on the cover of an edition of “Athletic Journal” magazine, with a several page photographed demonstration of the proper execution of the Hook-Shot. He maintained his love of athletics by occasionally refereeing basketball, and by playing softball and basketball with church leagues.
Don honorably served in the Army Reserve from 1957-1964. With a heart for service, he worked five years for the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department. To provide for a growing family, Don moved on to other jobs, ultimately finding his niche with the maintenance department of the Fox School District in Missouri. He had the opportunity to interact with staff and students, and remarked upon retirement that he was blessed to have found a job that he was able to enjoy.
Don met Maurine Crites in St. Louis, and ardently pursued her until she married him. Don and Maurine were wed on August 9, 1963 and were devoted to each other for 57 years, until her death. Don credited his Christian faith with the loving marriage they had. Don and Maurine were members of the Church of the Nazarene for more than 60 years. They considered service to God and people to be an honor. They served with dignity in many ways, to include Sunday school teachers, board members, church choir, ushers, greeters and custodians. They considered all jobs to be equally important whenever help was needed.
Don was a humble man who never boasted of his abilities or accomplishments. He never wanted his size or physical strength to intimidate anyone; rather he maintained a quiet presence and dignity that showed his respect for others. Don loved nature and enjoyed observing wildlife, whether in the field or the yard outside a window. Maurine loved music and art; Don developed an appreciation of both as his marriage to her blossomed and grew. Don had a keen, quiet sense of humor. As a tall man, people often asked him how tall he was. His favorite reply, always with a wry grin, was, “five feet twenty-one inches.”
Don and Maurine had four sons: Keith, Tim, Sam and Peter. They loved their sons equally and unconditionally and were proud of the men their sons became. Their sons gave Don and Maurine eleven grandchildren and ten great-grandchildren, all of whom were loved and adored by them.
Don loved and missed Maurine deeply. In his last birthday card to her, Don wrote, “…Beside God, you are my everything, I love you dearly.” Before his death, Don said that his greatest joy in Heaven will be spending eternity with her.
Don asked that if any memorial is made, that it be donations to the Nazarene Bible College in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
A celebration of Don’s life will be held on Monday, November 6, 2023 at 11:00 AM at the Eldon Church of the Nazarene with Rev. Jerry Frye officiating. Interment for the family will be private.
Arrangements are under the direction and care of Phillips Funeral Home of Eldon, MO.