In Loving Memory of

Don McKenzie Post

 - 

Remembering Don McKenzie Post

 

On a sunny day in a small house, located midst a wooded setting of pine trees, on the shore of a clear lake known as “Island Pond”, in Umatilla, Florida. Don McKenzie Post was born to Howard and Beatrice Post. The last of four children, Betty, Lois, Rex and Don. Don’s early life was spent roaming the woods, fishing, swimming, bathing in the lake and boating out to the island to look for new discoveries. As a young child, Don was tune with nature and the tune got louder as his years increased. When it was time for formal learning, the big yellow school bus took him into town for grades one through twelve, where the lake county public school system helped set the goals for his life. Following graduation, like many of his peers, Don went to serve his country, where he served the US Navy for two years. After returning home, he enrolled at the University of Florida in Gainesville. HE knew right away what his major would be. A man of the land… Forestry. During the years in pursuit of his degrees, he enjoyed membership in the Sigma Chapter of Phi Sigma Biological Society and Pi Chapter of Xi Sigma Pi.  Don remained at the University of Florida where he joined the School of Forestry teaching Faculty and taught for thirty-three years. His greatest pleasures came from his personal relationship with his students. He loved nothing better than checking out the old blue bus, loading up the class and heading out for a day of “hands on” field experience, or “in progress working” observation, he wanted each trip to be a valuable learning lesson. Nothing gave him more pleasure than seeing a former student and learning of their personal professional success. Don was a member of the Florida Forestry Association and the Society of American Foresters (50 plus years). The Grand Guard Society celebrates those who have spent their lives upholding the tenants of knowledge, tradition and dedication that characterize the spirit of the University of Florida. This month, Don would have been honored on the 50th Anniversary of his status as an alumnus of the University and been formally recognized as a member of the prestigious group at the 2019 Grand Guard Society Reunion, fifty years as a Gator and member of the College of Agricultural and Life science family. Significant changes in Don’s life, began to occur when in 1952, he met and married a UF Graduate Student names Pansy Gibson. They enjoyed togetherness for 67 years. Then in 1960his only son Pat was a welcome addition to the family, truly a boy to enjoy. March 25, 2017, was a day of celebration for all, when Jacqueline Thomas added Post to her name and became their lovely Daughter-in-law. Two years ago, in 2017 Levita Barrios came into Don’s life, as his wonderful caretaker. A young woman who gave her whole soul and body and all the love within, to the care of Don and his family. If there are Angel’s on earth as some believe, it must be true, for Levita was Don’s own personal angel by his side until he died. Don spent his last days at E.T. York Haven Center. On October 3, 2019 his long journey through life ended. As a special courtesy of love and respect to the Post Family, the Miliams’ gave Don his last ride on this earth to say ”Good-bye” to his land that he loved so well and what a ride it was—with Don in the back of the Lincoln Navigator and James at the wheel. Pat and Levita by his side—Through green pastures, pine trees and woods he did ride. He visited all of his personally owned woodlands-passed by his little old sawmill, now covered in dust, sitting in slumber where once it had been buzzing with sound, when Don and his friend had the pleasure of cutting gup some lumber, went by his old house he called home for over fifty five years, drove through the “woodyard”, dear to his heart and by the little house on the hill. Thank you so very much Ashley, Mickey and James. TO quote an old Chinese Proverb “A kindness is never forgotten”. That night from hours 6-8 PM, former friends, former students and many more came from far and near to Milam Funeral Home on Newberry Road in Newberry FL to honor Don and pay their Respects. Stories were told, remebrances recalled and condolences spoken. The next day, On October 10th at 11:30 AM in the quiet of the ‘Chapel in the Meadows’; midst the sweet fragrance from the beautiful flowers-Don was remembered as a great teacher, a special mentor to students and a kind, thoughtful, creative person in his personal and professional life. Prayers were said and Don was laid to rest among the roots of a Magnificent Oak Tree at Forest Meadows Cemetery Central. As the echoes of “Taps” faded from the U.S. Navy Honor team—Don was remembered as a man of success who was happy with himself and gave happiness to others…who made the world a better place simply by being a part of it. Don McKenzie Post lived his entire life by the words of the poet, “Charles Haddon Spurgeon” Who Said “Do all you can, to all the people, you can, in all the ways you can, as often as ever as you can, as long as you can.” Services were taken care of by Forest Meadows Funeral Home, 725 NW 23rd AVE, Gainesville, FL 32609, 352-378-2528


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