Pech, Donald “Donnie” James
Donald “Donnie” James Pech, born Jan. 4, 1953, in Independence, Iowa to Donald and Rhody Pech, passed away Jan. 29, 2013, in Del Rio, Texas. Funeral services will be 11 a.m. Monday, Feb. 4, at First Baptist Church in Lamont. Visitation will be from 2 until 5 p.m. Sunday at Fawcett Funeral Home in Winthrop and after 10 a.m. Monday at the church.
Donnie grew up in Winthrop, graduating from East Buchanan High School in 1971. Donnie received the Boy Scouts God and Country Award, played football, ran track and loved driving the GTO. He was on the first EB wrestling team and convinced his mother Rhody to sew the first Earth Day flag to be flown at school.
Donnie earned a degree in education and history at the University of Texas — El Paso, where he sang in a Rolling Stones cover band and began a lifelong love for the wilds of Texas and “authentic” Mexican food.
He worked in Colorado, Texas, and Iowa teaching and continuing the family tradition of master carpentry. He earned a master’s degree along the way and taught construction trade skills for over a decade at Red Oak High School and Southwest Community College, teaching high school students the value of hard work and a job well done which resulted in the building of 11 homes.
Donnie retired from full time teaching in 2010 and left his Iowa homestead “Lonesome Duck” to wander roads less traveled, taking only a pickup truck, a tiny camper, and an enormous dog. He designed and built the 10-foot wooden camper (C29-A) himself using early aircraft construction techniques, which sheltered him through the vast and varied climes of the Mid and Southwestern byways. It boasted built-in bookshelves, fold-down bunk, railroad lantern and was well insulated: “I love cold weather camping and I can heat it with a St. Bernard and a candle.”
Donnie raised his children, Mahalie, James and Katie, in rural Colorado, teaching them the values of small town life and a deep love of the great outdoors. A devoted father and grandfather, he leaves a joyous legacy in Nova, MJ and Paloma.
Donnie remains in the hearts of his mother, Rhody; brother, Jimmer (Ron); daughter, Mahalie, and granddaughter, MJ; son, James (Amber), granddaughter, Paloma, and grandson, Nova, whose mother Katie awaits Donnie in heaven. Donnie takes with him treasured memories of his aunts, uncles, cousins, friends, and the class of ’71.
“It ain’t dying I’m talking about, it’s living. I doubt it matters where you die, but it matters where you live.” spoken by Augustus McCrae
Larry McMurtry, “Lonesome Dove”
Published Feb. 3, 2013 in The Gazette