It is with great sadness we announce the passing of our beloved father, Donald Lee Halbert, on September 17, 2022 at the age of 88. Born in St. Louis MO on February 27, 1934 to Cecil J. Halbert and Dollie Martha Allen. Preceded in death by his loving wife Martha Jane Halbert, stepfather Olaf Kinberg, brother Steven Halbert and still born daughter Jean. Survived by son Doug and Lila Halbert; grandchildren Matthew Halbert, Scott Halbert, Lauren Ayers, Julia Grandy, Blake Halbert and Addie Halbert; daughter Holly and Mitch Morgan; grandchildren Cassie Kishpaugh, Spencer Morgan, Grant Morgan, Alexa Clarke and Madelaine Morgan; daughter Summer Halbert who was his caregiver for several years; Nine beautiful great grandchildren.
Don and his brother Steve lived in a blue-collar working-class neighborhood in the central city of St. Louis with mother Dollie, a homemaker, and step father Olaf, a truck driver for Shell Oil Co. Street cars ran day and night on the tracks outside his two story red brick home, this would be a staple in his life during his younger years before he and friends were able to drive. Every Day he rode his bike 3 blocks to the fire station where a fire chief took him under his wing. The crew taught him how to play horseshoes, corkball, shared many meals and thrilling stories. When they got a fire call, they allowed him to flip the lights and ring the sirens on the building before they took off. While they were gone, he would run upstairs to the bunk hall and slide down the fire pole. At Rock Springs middle school, he played softball and learned to play the drums. Every morning before school he would play the drum solo while the flag was being raised. He then attended Hadley Technical High School where he learned woodworking, mechanics, and the printing trade. He spent his early years as a journeyman printer, setting type by hand and operating large printing press machines. At 22 years old he was so proud of his craftsmanship that even when he took and passed the test to become a firefighter, he turned it down to remain in his trade. Firefighting was in his blood, so he became a member of The Box 8 Club of St. Louis, a 35-man volunteer fire team. It was like living the best of both worlds. When he and his wife moved to Phoenix AZ in 1967, he worked for seven years at the Arizona Republic and Gazette, before technology put printers out of work. He was such a loyal, hard worker that they asked him to work until the end, helping to incorporate the new automated printers. At this point he went to real estate school, then became a top producing agent and broker at Red Carpet and later at Reality Executives, where he worked until the age of 80. He was an incredibly successful and honest real estate agent who found purpose in helping families find their ideal home.
In 1965 Don met the love of his life, Martha Jane, they immediately began a beautiful courtship and eloped to Chicago, Ill on July 19, 1966. He often remarked how he waited until his thirties to marry because he was waiting for his one true love, they were married for 56 extraordinary years. They moved to Phoenix, AZ in 1967 where he worked nights at the paper in order to buy a cozy home in central phoenix where they raised their 3 children. One of the best gifts a person could be blessed with is a father like ours. He strived hard at workday in and day out but family was at the heart and soul of everything he did. The family had many adventures together bumming around Arizona; trips to California, where he loved to sit on the beach and listen to the sound of the waves; to St. Louis regularly where we gallivanted all over the city and watched him become a kid all over again. Our happiness was his happiness, and he gave us something special, that only he could give, his time and the heartwarming feeling of being loved. Later moving to north Phoenix they continued date nights with dinner and dancing or shows at the Phoenix Little Theatre, weekly movie matinees, church on Sundays and watching their family grow as they celebrated the birth of each of their 11 grandchildren. Whether it was attending their blessing ceremony, Grandparents Day at school, keeping up with their various achievements, high school and college graduations, marriages and great grandbabies, Don was constantly brimming with pride. There were birthdays, family dinners each Sunday, swimming and BBQs in the backyard, joyful, gregarious holidays, so many treasured memories we will forever hold on to.
Generous, adoring son; loving and supportive husband; kind, adventurous, attentive father; caring, fun, joyful grandfather; thoughtful, trusted friend to many. Don offered a level of optimism that was honest, heartfelt and spilled over into all that he did. His friendly demeanor and bright smile brought comfort and joy to all those around him. “That man is a success, he who has lived well, laughed often and loved much.” (Robert Louis Stevenson)
The family wishes to express their sincere gratitude to all those who have supported us during this time of loss. Don Halbert’s grave will be dedicated by his son Doug Halbert and a celebration of life will be held privately. Don and his wife Martha will be laid to rest in the Love Garden at Green Acres Cemetery.