Donald Sexton Hibler

Donald Sexton Hibler

January 27, 1924 — November 2, 2018

Donald Sexton Hibler was born Jan. 27, 1924, at the home place in Oatmeal, Texas. He was the seventh son of Ben and Pearl Hibler. He peacefully passed through the Pearly Gates Nov. 2, 2018.

Donald was preceded in death by his parents, Benjamin and Pearl Sexton Hibler; seven brothers, Hansford, Prentis, James, Melvin, Howell, Calvin and his beloved twin Ronald; and by his wife, Jeanne Kirk Hibler. Donald is survived by his sons, Benjamin (Benny) and wife Anita and Carl and wife Cindy; four granddaughters, Donna, Jennifer, Katie Jo and Dondi; and three great-grandchildren, Areal, Corey and Cassidi, as well as a large number of loving nieces and nephews.

Growing up Donald was no stranger to hard physical work, from picking cotton and digging potatoes to wrestling with 6 older brothers. He attended school in the still standing Oatmeal School House in Oatmeal, Texas, and graduated valedictorian in 1942. Experiencing life during the Depression instilled in Don a strong work ethic and an unshakable resilience to whatever life brought his way.

In June 1943 Donald entered the Army and served during WWII until 1945. In 1944 he was attached to the 28th Infantry Division as an infantryman. July 1944 they landed at Utah Beach and for the next several months the 28th Division stayed in constant combat. The Germans counter attacked with nine divisions in what was to become the “Battle of the Bulge.” During this battle Donald was severely wounded after stepping on a land mine. He was awarded the Purple Heart Medal for his bravery and valor, among other awards for rescuing his comrades under fire. Donald was honorably discharged from the Army in 1945. He was a true hero in every sense to his family and others. When praised for his actions he would humbly reply, “I just did what anyone would do.”

Donald married Jeanne Kirk on Nov. 7, 1947, in Burnet, Texas. They immediately moved to the big city of Houston, Texas, where Donald was already working for the U.S. Post Office. While living in Houston, they had two sons, Benny and Carl. Donald was a huge baseball fan; therefore, many of the years spent in Houston were ones of being involved with the boys and their Little League teams. He religiously followed baseball and could make the “calls” faster and more precise than the umpires and the sports casters.

In 1969 Donald had the opportunity to transfer to the post office in Kingsland, Texas. His lifelong dream of moving back to the home place had finally come true. In 1971 he was promoted to postmaster at Buchanan Dam, Texas, where he worked until he retired in 1991. He faithfully and diligently served the Postal Service for 46 years. Serving as an officer in his local postal union, one of his favorite memories was going to Washington, D.C., and getting to meet Lyndon B. Johnson. Donald always said, “If it wasn’t for LBJ, Oatmeal would probably still be without electricity!”

Donald loved ranching almost as much as baseball. Once he moved back to the home place he started raising cattle. He was his happiest sitting out in the field in his old pickup truck with his dog just watching the cattle graze. He would sigh and say, “Have you ever seen anything more peaceful?” Even in his 90’s when he could no longer “work” the ranch he was still giving orders on how he wanted things done. His beloved wife, Jeanne passed away Aug. 5, 2006, after 59 years of marriage; his life was never quite the same.

He was a faithful member of the First Baptist Church in Bertram, Texas. His church loved him as much has he loved them. Donald was a big man with a big heart, always willing to help out anyone in need. He was known for his teasing and witty sense of humor. He had a joke or story for any topic. A simple enjoyment in his life was having coffee with the “Rich Ranchers” at the “Wisdom Table” where they solved all of the world’s problems.

Donald was a Master Mason at the Bertram Masonic Lodge #583; receiving a 50 year award in 2014 from the Grand Lodge of Texas. He was also a member of the American Legion Post #607 as well as the VFW Post #6974. Before his passing he was the only living original director of the Oatmeal Festival held in Oatmeal, Texas, from 1978 up until today. He received an Honorary Lifetime Directorship in 2013 in honor of his years of community service. Donald also was a director of the Oatmeal Cemetery Association since 1972, as well as a long standing member of the Texas Farm Bureau.

Donald was one of those rare and special people that would always make you laugh. He dearly loved his family and was blessed with four granddaughters that had him wrapped around their fingers. Growing up with all boys, he would tease and say, “Surely this must be a curse!” His family feels truly blessed to have been a part of his life and knowing that his larger-than-life legacy will live on in their hearts forever.

The family wishes to give a very special thanks to the staff at Oaks Assisted Living in Burnet. The care and love shown to all of us, and especially Donald, was above and beyond what we could have ever asked for. We know the dining room will never be the same without him! We could never thank New Century Hospice enough for the kindness and loving care they showed during his last few months, thank you so much Patty and Cathy, you truly are special angels. Last but not least, we thank all the friends that have shared their stories with us about how special Donald was to them and the many calls and prayers that have been so appreciated. He will be missed by us all.

Donald’s wishes were that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the American Heart Association and to the Oatmeal Cemetery Association in Oatmeal Texas.

Services were held on Monday, Nov. 5, at First Baptist Church of Bertram and he was interred at the Oatmeal Cemetery under the care of Jenkins Funeral Home, Burnet, Texas.

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