Donald M. Schlagel
92 years young
12/14/25 – 11/20/18
Don passed away peacefully at Serenity House in Santa Barbara after a short illness. With a chaplain giving him his last rites and his daughter by his side he took his final breath. He left us in body but not in spirit. His smile and kind soul will be with us always. There are not enough words to express the kind, playful, thoughtful, creative man Don was.
A SB local, Don was born at St Francis Hospital in 1925, two years after his parents packed up their 5 kids & moved to Santa Barbara from their homestead in Montana. He attended Dolores School thru 9th grade and graduated Santa Barbara High School in 1944. Go Dons! He was drafted on his 18th birthday while still attending high school and was given 6 months to finish school before going to Camp Roberts and then overseas to fight in combat in the US Army 6th infantry division in WWII. He served 2 years with honorable discharge.
When he returned home he worked with his oldest brother Clarence as an apprentice cement finisher. He then worked at SB Stone until he went off on his own with his nephew Glen Schlagel and eventually his sons Mike, Jerry and finally Mark joined the team. He did projects like the State St sidewalk, Cabrillo bike path, 1000 steps and many patios & fountains throughout Santa Barbara along with his sons.
Don married Roberta “Bobbie” in 1950. They stayed married “til death do us part” 60 years later. They raised their family in SB enjoying many beach outings, waterskiing and camping trips at Carp beach, Rancho Oso and Naciemento Lake. They both enjoyed dancing (swing, ball room and square dancing) and traveled to jazz festivals often. Their love of travel really took flight after their kids were raised and they traveled the U.S., Mexico and Canada in their motor home. They also traveled to many countries abroad & in South America. After retiring in 81 they moved to Bass Lake and enjoyed many years with family & friends visiting in winter for the holidays and in the summer for waterskiing & swimming off the dock. Don moved back to Santa Barbara 9 years ago after his wife passed and lived next to his daughter in the house he built in the 50s.
He is survived by his sons Mike (Lisa, grandkids Alexandra & Preston), Randy and Jerry (Monica, granddaughters Michele & Emily), his daughter Teresa, and many nieces, nephews and cousins. He is preceded in death by his wife Roberta and son Mark, his parents Michael & Teresa and all 5 siblings Clarence, Pearl, Irma, Ralph & Vivian (& their spouses). He also had many friends some old, some new, the Gudgeon’s for 65+ years, the Esau’s, Dave & Gloria, Linda who he danced and traveled with, Charlene & Ruth and others from the Comrades.
Don was very creative and enjoyed woodworking, painting, jewelry making, art, reading & dancing amongst many other hobbies. He had a good sense of humor and loved telling a good joke. He was playful and was a joy to be around. He was a kind soul with a mischievous side.
Last summer he went to a Dodger game with his daughter & when he got back to the bus after a 12 inning evening game someone shouted “I want what he’s taking!” LOL. (He was the oldest one on the bus and the only one who stayed to the finish). He was a trooper til the end. He also shared a love for art & they had plans to go to the Getty Museum on his bday in December. He will be greatly missed.
A funeral will be held on December 21 at Our Lady Of Sorrows church at 10:00 a.m. and a Celebration Of Life to follow at the Elks from 11:30-4:00. In lieu of flowers please make donations to hospice or a veteran organization of your choice in Dons name. May Dons spirit, sense of humor & sweet smile live in our memories always.