Donald Eugene Bratton died peacefully at his daughter's home in Valencia, California, surrounded by his family. He was born on Jan. 4, 1916, in Iowa and died March 17, 2012. He was 96 years old, but young at heart. Don was a man of integrity, honor, faith and wisdom. He was generous and loving to his family and many friends. He had a great sense of humor and "never met a stranger" he lovingly cared about everyone he met. He enjoyed his life and was proud of his many accomplishments and relationships. Don was an inspiration to his family and was respected, admired and loved by all who knew him. Services were held at Rose Hills Memorial Park on March 22, 2012 and were conducted by Don's most loved and favorite Pastors Andy Addis from Cross Point Church in Hutchinson, Kan., and Fred Dorado of Park Avenue Christian Church in Montebello, Calif.
Don was born on a farm in Iowa. His father, Ralph Bratton, died at a young age in a farming accident and his mother, Jessie Bratton-Nelson, raised her two sons and lived out her life in Toledo, Iowa. Don came to California with friends from Toledo Vina Hively, Thelma Spees and Ed Burrows to start a restaurant in Pico Rivera. Don served in the Navy in World War II from April 1942 to October 1945 and was called again with the Navel Reserves in the Korean War from November 1950 to September 1952. He started working for the U.S. Post Office in Ames, Iowa, and then transferred to California. He retired as Superintendent of Mails in Pico Rivera after 32 years of service with the U.S. Post Office. He was an avid golfer, enjoyed collecting stamps and coins, was the neighbor and family "handyman" and most of all loved to travel (whether by automobile, plane, train or ship whether far away or close to home). Don and Virginia devoted a great deal of time and energy to the Lions Club of Pico Rivera. He serviced in many offices and valued his contributions as a volunteer. He also volunteered and supported Virginia in her contributions as a member of her P.E.O. Chapter in Montebello.
Don is survived by his loving wife, Ethel Irene Doty-Bratton in Pico Rivera and his devoted daughter, Susan (and David) Slay in Valencia; granddaughter, Kimberly (and Joseph) Asboth in Apple Valley and their sons Tyler Gonzalez and Ryan Asboth; Grandson, Thomas (and Athena) Calvin, in Victorville and their children James Peck and Katie Peck. Don is also survived by his extended family step-children Steve (and Patsy) Doty, Cindy (and Jan) Billing and Debbie (and Dave) Loeser and all their children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Don is survived by his brother, Dale (and Ila) Bratton in Toledo, Iowa, and one nephew and six nieces. His extended family in Kansas have brought love and joy into his life Bonni (and Ross) Burrows-Schnabel and her sons Andy (Cathy) Addis, Adam (and Jennifer) Coker and Tony (and Brandy) Coker and all their children. Family friends, Barri (and Benji) Burrows and their daughter, Briana, have shared with Don their love, support and world travels.
Don was preceded in death by his wife of 52 years Virginia Amidon Bratton whom he met in high school and married in Toledo, Iowa, in 1944.
We appreciate the love and support Don and our family received from our Caregivers at Comfort Keepers and VITAS Hospice. Donations or memorials can be made to the Meals-on-Wheels program through the Senior Centers in your community.
Don's family will miss him every day and keep him in our hearts forever. He taught us how to love. Love is patient and kind; Love is not jealous or boastful; Love is not arrogant or rude; Love does not insist on its own way; Love is not irritable or resentful; Love does not rejoice at wrong; but Love rejoices in the right; Love bears all things; Love believes all things; Love hopes all things. And Love endures all things; Love never ends!