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Donald “Don” Eugene Menke went home to Jesus in the early morning hours of December 8th.
Don was the type of person that you only meet once in your life. He was kind, but always left a little room for mischief. He was gracious but was too stubborn to tell you if you were right. He was charming and made anyone he encountered feel like a life-long friend. Don loved life and lived it fully. The only thing he loved more were the people that were lucky enough to know him and love him back.
Don was born on September 3rd, 1938, in Walton Verona, Kentucky to Benjamin and Blanche Menke. He had three sisters, Ruth, Virginia and Charlotte, and two brothers Bernard and Harold. Don proudly served in the US Army and was a Vietnam Veteran. Last year he was able to join the Honor Flight to Washington DC to commemorate the fallen soldiers who proudly served the Country that he loved.
Don was a handsome young man, but it didn’t take long for him to fall head over heels for his beloved wife, Joyce. After only 6 weeks of knowing each other, Don and Joyce were married in 1958. Their commitment to one another has since been a shining example of what true, enduring, love looks like. Don and Joyce went on to have two children, Dana and Brian. He enjoyed spending quality time with the two of them, going on many special hunting and fishing trips with his son Brian and many incredible vacations with his daughter Dana.
Don was a Deacon, Elder, Pastoral Minister, and Founding Member of Bedford Acres Christian Church in Bourbon County, Kentucky. He loved the Lord, and devoted his life to embodying who Jesus was. He was guided by love, compassion, forgiveness and understanding. He prayed fervently, giving thanks to God through the highs and lows of his life. Don loved his church family and considered them a part of his own.
Don was affectionately called “Papaw” by many grandchildren and great grandchildren, and even by those who weren’t related to him at all. Papaw rarely missed a game, a pageant, or a play. Whatever it was that his grandkids were up to, he proudly showed up to root them on. Papaw kept an extensive collection of hats that he would put on to ensure he looked the part depending on what event he’d rush off to. And although he was a good Christian man, he was known to get a bit rambunctious with a referee every now and again.
Don loved his community. He worked at IBM for 30 years, retired as Road Supervisor of the Bourbon County Road Department, and was the Bourbon County Magistrate serving the Centerville District. He was a supporter of Bourbon County sports and was honored in the 10th Region Hall of Fame for his contributions. Don was also awarded the high honor of being named a Kentucky Colonel. But he was more than just a public servant to his community. He deeply cared for the people he came across each day. Whether it was spending time at the hospital to pray with loved ones and strangers, being the officiant of a wedding, or making a joke with the cashier at the store, he made everyone feel seen and valued. Don was a good man, and his loss will inevitably be felt by the community that loved him as much as he loved them.
Don is survived by his wife Joyce Menke, his two children, Dana Menke Puckett and Brian (Tori) Menke, his sister, Ruth Fox, his grandchildren and great grandchildren, Erica (Scott, Cashton, Haynes, Vivian) Slade, Blaine (Logan, Clarke, Pierce) Astrike, Keller (Cami, Miles) Fields, Bailey (Clay, Case, Cohen) Hampton, Todd (Randi) Puckett, Reese (Jessica, Griffin) Menke, Morgan Puckett, Chandlyr Puckett, and Isabella Kingsland. He is preceded in death by his parents, Blanche and Benjamin Menke, siblings, Virginia, Charlotte, Bernard and Harold and many friends that he loved dearly.
Don was the type of person that you only meet once in your life, but today we’re thanking God that we’ll get to see him again in the next one. And although we miss him already, we are certain he’s already up to some good trouble in Heaven.
All grandchildren will be serving as active pallbearers. Honorary pallbearers include Dr. Robert Biddle, Ron Harney, Harry Laytart, G. Davis Wilson, Bryan Mattox, Todd Earlywine, Jerry Fox, Todd Puckett, Rusty Richardson, Terry Richardson, Rick Wagner, and Rod Dunn.
Funeral services will be conducted at 11:00 AM Monday December 11, 2023, at the Bedford Acres Christian Church, 5414 Lexington Rd, Paris, KY by Bro. Dean Scott and Bro Mitchell McIntyre. Burial will follow in the Evergreen Memory Gardens, Paris, KY.
Visitation will be from 4-9 PM Sunday December 10, 2023, at the church.
In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation to Bedford Acres Christian Church, 5414 Lexington Rd, Paris, KY 40361.
The arrangements were entrusted to the Lusk-McFarland Funeral Home, 1120 Main St., Paris, KY.