Donovan "Don"'s Story
Donovan "Don" J. Beyeler, 74, died Sunday, Dec. 24.
Don was born Feb. 14, 1943, to Noah and Viola (Mast) Beyeler, in Sterling, Ohio.
At age 6, he moved with his family to a farm near Waynesboro in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. His lifelong interest in birding grew out of days of identifying birds, their songs and their nests in the Virginia countryside.
He attended Woodrow Wilson High School in Waynesboro for three years, then graduated from Eastern Mennonite High School in Harrisonburg, Virginia, in 1960. After working for two years on the family farm, he attended Eastern Mennonite College for two years then graduated from Virginia Tech in 1966 with a degree in animal science.
In 1967, as an alternative to military service, he went to the Dominican Republic where he did agricultural development and amateur veterinary work. On completing his time in the Dominican Republic, he spent four months riding a motorcycle alone from Panama to southern California.
From 1969 to 1973, Don worked in various capacities doing agricultural extension work in Virginia, planting 50,000 Douglas Fir trees in Oregon, and attending the University of California-Davis studying international agricultural development.
In 1974, in Orrville, Ohio, he started his dairy nutrition and crop science business called Bey-Agri Services.
In June, 1975, he married Carol Wenger in Waynesboro, Virginia. They were later divorced. He moved his business to Elkhart, where he worked with dairy farmers in northern Indiana and southern Michigan for 27 years. He also developed and marketed dairy and beef ration-balancing software called Nutritional Software Systems.
On May 30, 1987, he married Patricia Massanari at the Chapel of the Sermon on the Mount in Elkhart. He was an adventuresome traveler who visited over 65 countries, and enjoyed taking photographs, especially of nature. He and Patricia made several overseas trips, including one to China for their honeymoon.
Upon retirement in 2004, he began a yearly visit to El Sembrador, a mission school and farm in Catacamas, Honduras and to dairymen in El Salvador, where he offered consulting in animal nutrition and crops. He delighted in these trips as he could provide consulting experience as well as look for and identify exotic birds. Genealogical research, photography and sculpting were other areas he avidly pursued.
Don is survived by his wife Patricia; two sisters, LaVerne Shedoudy of California and Anne (Amos) Burkholder of Goshen; and two brothers, Carl (Betty) Beyeler of West Virginia and Darrell (Orpha) Beyeler of Virginia.
He was preceded in death by a sister Mary (Joseph) Hertzler of Elkhart, and three brothers, Harold Beyeler of Virginia, David (Libby) Beyeler of Virginia and John Alfred Beyeler of Ohio.
Visitation will be Tuesday, Jan. 2, from 4 to 8 p.m. at Yoder-Culp Funeral Home, Goshen.
He was a member of College Mennonite Church where a memorial service will be held Wed., Jan. 3, at 3 p.m. Pastors Pamela Yoder and Ron Kennel will officiate.
Per Don's request, cremation has taken place at Yoder-Culp Crematory.
In lieu of flowers, kindly make memorial contributions to El Sembrador School or the National Audubon Society.
Published on December 28, 2017