Taylorville Obits

Donald C. McWard

Donald C. McWard, 95, of Owaneco, passed away at St. John’s Hospital in Springfield on April 10, 2024, following a brief illness.  Donald was born on November 18, 1928, to Clarence and Velma (Klingler) McWard at home in Clarksdale, Illinois.  He grew up in the Morrisonville area and graduated from Morrisonville High School where he earned his FFA State Farmer Degrees.  He then attended Blackburn College, and graduated from the University of Illinois with bachelor’s and master’s degrees in education.  He was a sergeant in the U.S. Army during the Korean War.  He taught math and was an administrator for many years in Stonington, Decatur, and Pana schools. 

Donald married Shirley Bates on June 7, 1959, and they began farming in the Owaneco area in 1963.  He was particularly proud to be the fourth generation of his family to farm in Christian County and of the family’s sesquicentennial farm.  Donald was an avid fan of University of Illinois basketball and the Chicago Cubs.  He was active in the Morrisonville and Owaneco Masonic Lodges for over 70 years and was a Past Master Mason of the Owaneco Masonic Lodge AF&AM.  He was also a member of Eastern Star and Shriners. 

He is survived by his children, Marie (Patrick Kapustka), Cheryl, Dean (Venise Devore), and Christine (Jaime Alban); grandchildren  Alex, Kevin and Claire Kapustka, Jacob McWard, and Sophia and Sam Alban; his brothers  Lyle McWard of Decatur and Larry McWard (Connie) of Morrisonville; and numerous nieces and nephews.  He was preceded in death by his parents, wife, sisters Juanita Harvey, Irma Bryan, and Betty Jo Ward, and infant brother Harold. 

The family wishes to express their gratitude for the care provided by Donald’s longtime caregivers: Sandy Miller, Tanya Ishmael, Julia England and Brooke Burney.

A visitation will be held on Saturday, April 20, 2024, from 10:30-1:00 p.m. at Sutton Memorial Home in Taylorville, Illinois. Masonic rites will take place at 1:00 p.m. and a funeral service will begin at 1:15 p.m. with Pastor Brennan Hurley officiating. Interment will follow at Oak Hill Cemetery.

Memorial gifts may be made to the Christian County Farm Bureau Scholarship Fund or to Shriners Hospital.

Sutton Memorial Home is assisting the family with arrangements. Please sign our online guestbook at suttonmemorialhome.com.