Donald “Smokey” Edward Schlessner, Sr. went home to be with the lord on the morning of February 26th, 2022 at 97 years young. Born on July 19, 1924 in Clay Center, Ohio to Otto and Anna Schlessner, he is the last survivor of his four siblings. With both parents passing before he was an adult, Smokey proved to be resilient in all aspects of life moving on to live a long, successful, and fulfilling 97 years.
Smokey was a proud owner-operator of his own trucking company for many years, his favorite truck being a Kenworth named “Gold Nugget”. When asked what he would do with it if he still had it, he replied, “I would drive it around the block every day”. He also briefly owned and operated his own grocery store. Smokey had a lifelong love for numbers and math, and took pride in managing his finances and crunching numbers. Once retired, he spent winters in Arizona with his second wife, Mimi, enjoying ribs at Superstition Skies.
Smokey loved bonfires on summer nights with hot dogs and plenty of smores, an ice cold PBR, margarita, or glass of sweet wine, and retelling stories of his life. He made any excuse to be outside as he loved everything in nature, growing every plant he could get his hands on and was seen many times moving dirt in his rusty-old wheelbarrow. Smokey was eco-conscious, reusing and extending the life of anything he could and was always excited by free things, his famous words being, “If it’s free, it’s for me”.
Donald is preceded in death by his siblings, his first wife of 45 years, Geraldine, and his son, Donald Jr. He is survived by his wife of 30 years Mimi; four daughters Deanna (Richard) Redd, Linda (Rick) Grissom, Peggy (Bob) McKenna, and Sherry (John) Simmons; 12 grandchildren Cierra, Dylan, Kiana, Kristin, Jeff, Jennifer, Jill, Jon, Mark, Michael, Rich, and Rick; 18 great grandchildren and 1 great-great-grandchild. Per his wishes, a small, private ceremony will be held for immediate family.