On November 7th, 2020 Donald (Don) J. Stimack departed this earth to Coach on God’s Team. Born to J.J. and Josephine (Zgut) Stimack April 2, 1932, he lived with both his parents and grandparents in Walsenburg, Colorado. He learned from an early age the importance of hard work, expecting the best of himself and others. He had the belief that anyone could accomplish anything with good coaching and a lot of determination.
Don thoroughly enjoyed all sports; anyone who knew him called him Coach. From being a state football champion himself to playing college sports, coaching the Delta State champs in 1960, and then becoming a college football coach at both CU and Western State. As Canon City High School’s head football coach, he won consecutive Will Rogers League championships and was named Will Rogers League Coach of the year in 1965.
Don was a born leader and accomplished much in his 88 years. He was student body President at Adams State, which led to his teaching career. He had a great love for all the students that he coached and taught throughout the years. It wasn’t long before he was Assistant Principal and Principal at CCHS and served at the state-level for CHSAA. He also was heavily involved in bettering the community. He was instrumental in building of Citizen’s Stadium and the development of Shadow Hills Golf Club. Without Don, our community would not enjoy the Christmas experience of Candy Cane Lane-which he helped bring to life.
Family was most important to Don. He was proud of being part of the Stimack “Boonch.” Don married Ruth Hayhurst (Evans) in 1979, whom he dearly loved and tenderly cared for up until the day of his death. Together they savored time in Mesa, Arizona, golfing, attending sporting events, and happy hours with countless family and friends, but Canon City, Colorado was their home.
Don is survived by his wife, Ruth; sister, Mary Jo Stimack-Miller; Aunt Helen and family; children, Greg (Cheri) Stimack, Susan (Doug) Miller, Beth (Tim) Gaffney, Brent (Brenda) Evans, and Sharon (Dave) Berry; beloved grandchildren, Greg Stimack Jr, Nadia Stimack, Ryan (Michelle) Miller, Kendra (Shane) VanHandel, Krysti Jo Miller, Josh (Mandy) Reed, Ginnie (Louie) Chairez, Vinessa (Brian) Connor, Nick (Becky) Berry, Breanna (Tim) Berry, Jessica Evans, Jennifer Evans, Collin (Kaila) Evans, and Chance (Maretta) Butler; numerous nieces, nephews and last but not least, his 26 cherished great-grandchildren.
More than anything, Papa loved spending time with his grandkids and great-grandkids. As a principal/coach, Don held a hard line, but he could never say “no” to, “Papa, can I have an M & M?”
Don will be remembered as loving Husband, Dad, Brother, Uncle, Friend, Coach, Principal, and Papa; but most importantly as a good man of great integrity and absolute love. He was one of a kind!
A private service will be held on Saturday, November 14, 2020. A public Celebration of Life will be held in the spring of 2021. Thank you all for your thoughts, prayers, and virtual hugs during this difficult time. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Don’s name to the Humane Society of Fremont County, 110 E. Rhodes Ave., Canon City, CO 81212 or to the hospice organization of your choice.
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