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William Spikes Dondlinger passed away peacefully on May 8, 2012 at the age of 80 in Mission, Texas.
Bill was born in Mission and played football for the Mighty Mission Eagles. After graduating from Mission High School, he attended the University of Norte Dame, but after his first year decided Indiana was too cold for this Texas boy and transferred to The University of Texas where he was active in Sigma Nu fraternity and ROTC. He received his BBA from UT and instilled a love for all things Longhorn in his children and grandchildren.
He was proud to serve as a 2nd Lieutenant in the United States Marine Corps Reserves, being stationed in Virginia and North Carolina. Following his discharge he returned to Mission to work with his father in the family furniture and appliance store, Dondlinger’s, Inc., which he later purchased from his father. As his grandfather had come to Mission and opened a candy store in 1908, Bill was proud to be the third generation of his family to own a business in downtown Mission until his retirement in 1996.
He was involved in several other ventures, including coin-operated televisions at Mission Hospital and laundries in local apartments, and developed the Whispering Palms subdivision in Mission. Bill was one of a group of Mission businessmen who saw a need for a newspaper and he actively worked as one of the founders and early co-owners of what is now Mission’s Upper Valley Progress.
During the years he was in business, Bill was active in numerous community organizations including serving as president of the Mission Chamber of Commerce and the Mission Jaycees. In his earlier years he was very active at St. Paul’s Catholic Church and in the Mission Lions Club. Bill was honored with the “Wall of Fame” award by the Mission Historical Museum in September 2011.
Bill married his high school sweetheart and love of his life, Betty Jean Daniel Dondlinger in 1953. Together they raised three children and she always supported him in all his businesses and activities. In younger years he enjoyed hunting and fishing. In retirement he actively assisted with Betty Jean’s clothing business, enjoyed traveling, baking, making homemade preserves, gardening, keeping up with the news and spending time with his children and especially his grandchildren.
He is survived by his wife of 58 years, Betty Jean Daniel Dondlinger; daughter, Melinda and her husband Ruben of McAllen; son, Richard of Mission; and son, Paul and his wife Tarsy of Houston. He is also survived by his grandchildren, Martha Adele Bosquez, Rebecca Dondlinger and William T. Dondlinger, all of Houston. He always felt embraced by his Daniel family in-laws and is survived by two brothers-in-law and their wives and many treasured nieces and nephews.
He was predeceased by his parents, Pauline Spikes and Aloys “Don” Dondlinger; his twin sisters, Betty and Jeannette; his brother, Eugene” and his step-mother, Duse Dondlinger. He was also predeceased by many of his Daniel in-laws.
The family wishes to thank Juanita, Tencha and Leo who were devoted, loving and patient caregivers to Bill and the family. We would also like to thank Dr. Marvin Tavarez, Dr. Hiram Tavarez, Dr. Tommy Yee and their staffs who provided wonderful and often miraculous medical care to the family through the years. Additionally, we extend our thanks to the incredible staff of the memory care unit of Waterford Gardens, who lovingly and patiently cared for our father, and our family, over the last six months. We are grateful for the loving support from our family, neighbors and friends who have helped with meals, errands and life as we have dealt with our father’s illness.
In lieu of flowers, the family requested that memorial gifts be made to the Speer Memorial Library, 801 E. 12th, Mission, TX 78572 or designated for Alzheimer’s disease research at Mayo Clinic. Memorials can be made mailed to Mayo Clinic, Department of Development, 200 First Street SW, Rochester, MN 55905 or given online at https://development-comm.mayoclinic.org/donate.
A graveside service was held Saturday, May 12, at Laurel Hill Cemetery in Mission, Texas with Fr. Pat Seitz officiating. Kreidler Funeral Home in McAllen handled the arrangements.
Serving as honorary pallbearers were his surviving Daniel nephews, Bill Daniel, Gary Daniel, Charles Daniel, Curt Daniel, James Daniel, Steve Daniel, Bart Daniel, Brian Daniel, Winston Crump, and Jeff Hetrick.
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The Progress Times is the hometown newspaper for the local communities of Mission, Sharyland, Alton, Palmview, La Joya and surrounding areas in Western Hidalgo County. We have a staff of veteran reporters who work diligently every week to bring our readers the latest news as it affects their hometown area and people.