Skip to main content

Donald Edgar Alsbro Obituary

Donald Edgar Alsbro, 83, of St Joseph Mi and longtime resident of Berrien County surrounded by family at the Hanson Hospice Center passed peacefully and entered God’s kingdom on February 21, 2024. He was born in Detroit Michigan to Alice and Oscar Alsbro and grew up in Plymouth Michigan where he resided until attending WMU as a US ARMY ROTC cadet in 1958.


He was a loving, devoted family man and most proudly served his country in many ways as a true American Patriot, he will be dearly missed by all those whom he touched during his time on earth. He is survived by his wife of 60 years Sharon, his daughter Lynn (Mark) Snedden, and his two sons Steve and Alan (Leah) in addition to grandchildren, Bridget (John) Mangold, Tyler Snedden, Kevin (Elaine) Alsbro, Austin (Emaly) Snedden, Colin, Mary, Mitchell, Jacklyn and four great grandchildren Johnnie, Stevie, Bobby, Sophie, and one on the way. He is preceded in death by his sister Alice Margaret and brother Richard.


Don’s father passed when he was only 8 and his mom raised the children who attended Plymouth High School where he was the president of his student council and excelled in football, track and basketball. During his years in Plymouth, he very much enjoyed his family’s cottage on Zukey lake where he ended up teaching his kids how to ‘saucer’ board behind an 18’ Aluma craft. In 1963 he graduated from WMU in PE & Military Science and continued his educational journey when in 1971 he obtained a MA in education from Roosevelt University and then in 1987 his PhD Education Administration from Wayne State University.


Upon graduation from WMU he was commissioned 2LT, US ARMY where he entered service and never looked back. The importance of a strong military and serving his country was always paramount and a proud achievement for him as he served 31 years in various positions and in 1991 he was inducted into the WMU ROTC Military Hall of fame as a Bronco Warrier. His military career spanned so many generations, locations, countries, positions and ultimately people it’s hard to comprehend but a few highlights include;
-Originally stationed in Kitzingen Germany along the Fulda Gap where he served as an infantry officer. In 1967 he did his 1st st tour in Vietnam with the 1st Cav where he was the infantry officer in charge of civilian affairs and helped the local community build a school, playground and a medical facility. In 1968 he attended Adjutant Officers school in Indianapolis and then moved the family to Ft Sheridan. In 1971 he returned to Vietnam with US Army Americal division as Adjutant where he pushed a lotta paper around. When he went back in 2009 he found the daughter of the village chief whom remembered the positive impact the buildings had.
-In 1972 he moved to the Reserve forces as a Medical officer running the medical facility at Camp Ripley and Camp Grayling for many years during their summer training exercises. He stayed active in the reserves as a medical officer running facilities and units for 31 years when he retired in 1994 as a Full Colonel. Don achieved many decorations during his years of service including Bronze Star, Army Achievement and Accommodation Medals and many more.


After leaving active duty he was hired by Lake Michigan College as their AD and moved the family to SW Michigan settling in Bridgman Michigan on a small 20-acre horse farm. Don so loved the Morgan horse breed that soon he talked Sharon and the kids into buying a 55-acre horse farm in Niles Michigan and the rest is history, establishing Michiana Morgan horse farm and Future Promise 4H club where his kids grew up knowing the value of hard work having over 30 horses on the farm at its peak. When he saw a need for an equestrian sports program, he started the western Michigan Equestrian program which today is still a vibrant organization.


Soon the AD role at LMC expanded because of Don, and he invented a brand-new Health & Wellness team-based contest program, and with help of Sharon they built a community wide program called Dump Your Plump. This led Don to create the LMC Health Center and write over 4 books on wellness and exercise, all the while conducting over 20 Wellness cruises where over 1000 cruisers learned critical heart and health programs while passing up the buffet! Overall, the program helped tens of thousands lose weight, feel better and establish a balanced eating and exercise program for their own health and personal wellness plan. After he retired from LMC in 1991 and was inducted to LMC’s athletic Hall of Fame for his contributions.


In 1998 Don was one of the original founders and President for many years of Lest We Forget SW Michigan, an organization designed to “brighten the future by illuminating the past highlighting local veterans’ stories of service and sacrifice to their country.” The organization enabled and conducted re-enactments of WWII beach landings for several years bringing history to life for the thousands young and old who attended these events. The organization has published over 5 books of hero’s stories, originally focused on WWII but expanding to WWI through modern day Enduring Freedom. To this day people came up to Don and talked about the impact of this organization to the community and the country, truly an incredible group. The program received national attention when Tom Brocaw and NBC news highlighting the organization’s efforts to educate our youth using local hero’s stories aired on NBC nightly news. https://www.lestweforgetusa.org/fbclid=IwAR0pm8na9ZPme1W0TY_TalxgzyUeMXPN2a1xvv6v8rR9yNFzSY5WczCEKlM


He had the personality and charisma to make friends no matter the situation and he remained in touch with many of these lifelong friends. A man of many stories, always tied to one of his favorite subjects in addition to Military he loved talking about his dachshunds, cats, horses and sports including his love of UM where the rest of the family was all Green,,,go White. In addition, he loved his sweets, ice-cream, and M&M’s. If there was an M&M connoisseur, he would have been that! But as a man of true integrity, Don would never budge under any circumstances, and his high moral and ethical standards carried the weight deserved because of respect others had for him. Don was a truly great man whose impact will be forever felt by those who met him but especially his family, that loved him dearly.


A visitation with the family will be February 25th and a celebration of life will be February 26th, at Starks Funeral home in St Joseph Michigan. In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to the Lest We Forget SW Michigan organization. https://www.lestweforgetusa.org/?fbclid=IwAR0pm8na9ZPme1W0TY_TalxgzyUeMXPN2a1xvv6v8rR9yNFzSY5WczCEKlM

Sign up for News Alerts

Subscribe to news updates