Stroo Funeral Home, Inc. 
1095 68th St. SE
Grand Rapids, MI 49508
Phone:  (616) 455-9280 
Fax: (616) 455-2035
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Michael A. Vos - Owner / Manager
 Robert K. Stroo - Owner / President 



Service Information

Donald Leyrer

Visitation: Saturday, December 15, 2018, from 11AM - 2PM at Stroo Funeral Home

Service: "Irish Wake" on Saturday, December 15, 2018, from 3PM - 9PM at 84th Street Pub & Grille AND a "Raft Off" on Saturday, July 27, 2019 at the Crooked Lake Sandbar

Memorials: PCLA (Pickerel-Crooked Lakes Association), PO Box 511, Alanson, MI 49706 or Little Traverse Conservancy and Land Trust (LTCL), 3264 Powell Road, Harbor Springs, MI 49740

 Donald Leyrer, 51, passed away unexpectedly while sleeping on Tuesday, December 4, 2018. Don was born and raised in Hamilton, Ohio. In 1996 he met and fell in love, and in 1998, married Joni his lifelong partner, friend and love. Don found his IT niche graduating with degrees in engineering and IT from the University of Cincinnati. He started his career in banking, then the Ohio Casualty Insurance Group, when an opportunity arose to relocate to Michigan in 2003. It was both a career and geographical promotion for Don. Don’s vision was always to get closer to the cottage he loved so dearly; career, free time, even our honeymoon in FL was cut short so we could get back to the cottage earlier than scheduled. This 2003 relocation put him very near the family cottage in Ponshe where he and Joni are found EVERY weekend from April to Thanksgiving. Known as “The Donster” & "Cap'n” Don because he could ‘dock like a boss’ and is known for his boating trips on the Inland Water Route during a new moon running lights only at 40mph and NEVER EVER had to replace a prop! There are witnesses! Don was the instigator of get-togethers: annual ‘opening cottage season’ soup dinners; Black Friday Up North pub crawl marathons, picking up friends at docks and marinas to go along with us, holiday reunions at the Montgomery Inn Boat House in Cincinnati, bon fires, grilling/smoker, PGA golfing (Ponshe Golfing Assoc), snowmobiling with Joni hugging him tightly, and in recent months bicycling & working out with Joni - he & everyone else were proud of the progress he’d made and he often said he was feeling great. Professionally, Don was a longtime member of Project Management International (PMI); he enjoyed working with and was a respected colleague in the financial industry of banking and insurance and a few days after his passing he would have added to his many titles that of  “Enterprise Guru" for the MI DOT. Don is survived by his thousands of friends, his wife Joni & his siblings & nieces and nephews:  Barb (son Matt) Hedrick of Middletown, OH; Chuck (kids Stephanie, Katherine, Mark) Leyrer of Raleigh, SC;  Dave (wife Gina, kids Sam, Jeff, Grace, Anna) Leyrer of Zachary, LA; Mike Leyrer of Hamilton, OH. Don's parents, Dr. Ralph and Mrs. Violet Leyrer, and his eldest brother, Ralph Leyrer, Jr., preceded him in death, as did Allister his Aussie. Don's wish was to be cremated. Funeral visitation is Saturday December 15, 2018 from 11AM - 2PM at Stroo Funeral Home, 1095 68th Street SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49508. An “Irish Wake” will be held on Saturday, December 15, frpm 3PM - 9PM at 84th Street Pub and Grille, adjacent to Baymont Inn by Wyndham Grand Rapids SW/Byron Center, 8282 Pfeiffer Farms Dr. SW. A block of 20 rooms have been reserved. Please call ASAP for reservations: 616-583-9535. Breakfast buffet is being considered TBD. The wake Donster REALLY wanted and talked about with Joni and friends will occur after Crooked Lake thaws and the SeaRay is launched from Ryde Marine. The “Cap’n Don Leyrer Memorial  Boat Raft-Off” will be in Ponshewaing/Alanson, MI on July 27, 2019 at the Crooked Lake Sandbar ATON87. First anchor will go out around 2PM-ish, weather & waves permitting. The raft-off will form a large circle on the sandbar; bring adequate line, bumpers, BYOB, snacks to share with other boaters, nerfs, water games, sunblock & stories of Don’s Up North adventures. Reserve boats/pontoons for the event with Ryde Marina 231-347-8273, Windjammer Marina 231-347-6103, Indian River Marina 231-238-9379 and other marinas in the Inland Water Route area; public launch is available at the west and the south banks of Crooked Lake and many launches in Indian River. He’d love it if you could stay and enjoy Don’s favorite place in the world. Waterfront hotel accommodations: Stafford’s Crooked River Lodge 231-548-5000; various cottages for rent; Best Western River Terrace with docking in Cheboygan, MI etc. As stated on the splash screen of the Ponshe website, Don wanted to protect "the little slice of heaven nestled among the cedar pine and birch trees on the northern banks of Crooked Lake" please make a contribution in his memory to: PCLA (Pickerel-Crooked Lakes Association), PO Box 511, Alanson, MI 49706 or Little Traverse Conservancy and Land Trust (LTCL), 3264 Powell Road, Harbor Springs, MI 49740


# Bethany Shira 2018-12-15 21:25
Dear Joni, I am sorry to hear of Don's passing. I thought of him often on Friday afternoons when I'm sure you guys were heading to the lake or when I had GOOD donuts. (We had to have donuts from the "approved" list at Meijer. :D )He will be missed.
# Kevin Dick 2018-12-14 19:38
Joni, you are certainly in my thoughts. Though I never got to have that lunch with you guys, I feel like I know a little about Don from hearing you talk about him. Your love was obvious. Please let me know if there's anything we can do, even if it's just listening. Grief is so hard. Great love demands great grief, so I can only begin to imagine your feelings. In the end, grief is just love with no place to go.
# Pat Andres 2018-12-13 18:16
Dear Joni, I was shocked to hear of Don's passing and so very, very saddened for you and his friends & family who loved him and lived out his life's dreams together with him. When we were together last you talked about these wonderful boating adventures you and Don have shared; how could anyone have known at that time only a couple months ago, this was ahead. Please reach out when you are ready, and know you & Don are both in my prayers at this most difficult time.
# The Waide Family 2018-12-13 13:13
Joni and Family, we were so shocked and saddened by the news! Don was always kind and funny and we will always miss passing by him while driving down the road in the ol' hood! Sending lots of love and hugs to all of you! We are thinking of you! So, so, sooo sorry for your loss! Gone way too soon! Love and sympathy from the entire Waide Family (Chris, Kris, Tyler & Konrad)
# JoAnne Frazier 2018-12-13 02:13
I am so sorry to hear about Don’s passing. He was a great guy. Hold on to your great memories as you will always have him in your heart. Prayers for you and the family.
# Cindy Kadish 2018-12-12 14:44
Joni, now I wish we had reconnected sooner as I would have loved to have met Don! My heart goes out to you as you work through your grief at losing such a fun partner in life. When you are ready...we can get together..
# Jim Berry 2018-12-12 00:12
/Rest in peace Don. Glad I stopped by this past summer and had a great visit with you. You will be missed. We had a great working relationship.

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