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home : obituaries : obituaries May 25, 2016

8/8/2013 8:00:00 AM
Donabelle Pfeiffer
June 10, 1920 - Aug. 5, 2013
Donabelle Pfeiffer
Donabelle Pfeiffer

Mrs. Donabelle Pfeiffer, 93, of Rochester, passed away at 1:17 p.m. Monday, Aug. 5, 2013, at her home.

Born in Warsaw, on June 10, 1920, Donabelle was the precious daughter of George Allen and Florence M. Knepper Eizinger. As the middle sibling, she shared her childhood with her older sister, Treva, and younger brother, Dale.

Don Pfeiffer and Donabelle Eizinger were classmates attending the Tippecanoe High School. It was during their sophomore year that they first became acquainted. The summer prior to their senior year, a mutual admiration became apparent. With great pride, they graduated together with their class in May of 1938. They continued to date while she attended Warren Beauty School in Fort Wayne, graduated and apprenticed in Elkhart and Warsaw.

On Dec. 3, 1939, in Tippecanoe, Donabelle married her best friend and the love of her life, Donald E. Pfeiffer. Their union of nearly 74 years produced a beautiful daughter and two handsome sons. Over the years, three more generations were added to the family tree. 

For nearly 66 years, the Pfeiffers lived in Newcastle Township and the Rochester community. Donabelle took great pride being a devoted mother and the wife of a farmer, with a great tradition, embracing all of her domestic responsibilities.

From her kitchen command post, she enjoyed cooking, baking and the preparation of a feast for her family and all of the hired help to enjoy after a challenging day in the fields. This versatile and amazing, yet elegant lady drove the tractors and drove the grain trucks to town, enjoying many pounds of Wilson's peanuts over the years.

The Pfeiffer family farm encompassed 1,000 acres planted in corn, soybeans, wheat, oats and peas. There were up to 75 registered Holsteins to milk, seven or eight black Angus, a few pigs and a variety of geese and chickens. One year, they enjoyed the company of some 4-H lambs. Each year, the family put out a huge garden that consisted of vegetables, flowers and strawberries. The autumn brought on a bountiful harvest, with Donabelle heading the freezing and canning department, making jams and jellies and preserving the produce for winter's use. They also shared with many special friends.

If Donabelle wasn't in the kitchen, she might be found at the ironing board with her cup of coffee, watching her favorite afternoon TV shows or at the keyboard of their piano, playing for her personal enjoyment.

A woman of great faith, Donabelle was an active member of the Bethlehem Baptist Church. She served her church as deaconess, Bible school and Sunday school teacher and was active in the women's ministry. She began each day with reading her Bible.

In addition to being a 4-H leader during her children's youth, she volunteered with the Woodlawn Hospital Ladies Auxiliary for 22 years and was a member of the Pleasant Valley Home Economics Club.

Friends and family were always welcome at the Pfeiffer home. Donabelle always had fresh coffee brewing and, many times, a warm baked delicacy to offer while they sat at the kitchen table, chatting and enjoying a few laughs.

To relax, Donabelle enjoyed handiwork. She was an accomplished seamstress, creating accents for her home with crewel and made gifts of warmth, crocheting colorful afghans for family and special friends.

The Pfeiffers were wonderful, stealth community supporters through the decades. They were always there for their children, grandchildren and the 'great-grands' athletic events, music programs and concerts.

They were avid Zebra season ticket holders. Attending community dinners and visiting the 4-H fair were events they enjoyed. In recent years, they could be seen all about town dining out.

As the matriarch of the Pfeiffer family, Donabelle was always there to share her love, wisdom and give advice, supporting the five generations she oversaw with her loving husband, Don. Together, this dynamic duo set the best example for family, friends and acquaintances to follow: A fairy tale life of nearly 74 years of love, dedication and devotion, sticking together as a team through the good times and some tough times too. They always had a smile and exhibited a positive attitude as they persevered through each day.

Donabelle is lovingly remembered by her adoring husband, Don; a daughter, Randy Hartman and husband Reg, of Warsaw; two sons, Wally Pfeiffer and wife Terry, of Rochester, and Mike Pfeiffer and wife Maureen, of Rochester; and eight grandchildren, Ed Pfeiffer and wife Wendy, Bill Pfeiffer and wife Staci, Jody McCall and husband Matt, all of Rochester, Tammy Davis and husband Ray, Chad Hartman, both of Warsaw, Cary Hartman and wife Michelle of Akron, Christina Sears and husband Jeff, of Cicero, and Alison Pfeiffer, of Noblesville. She was blessed with 15 great-grandchildren and one great-great-granddaughter; four sisters-in-law, Nanette Eizinger, of Rochester, Betty DeMein, of Macy, Marilyn Miller and husband Keith, of Elkhart, and Joan Tharp and husband Bob, of South Bend, and several nieces and nephews also survive. 

Preceding Donabelle in death are her parents; a great-grandson at birth; a sister, Treva Ritenour; and a brother, Dale Eizinger.

A celebration of the life of Mrs. Donabelle Pfeiffer will be at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Aug. 10, 2013, in the Good Family Funeral Home, Rochester, with pastors Phil Pratt, Junior Bose and Rod Ruberg officiating.

Friends may visit with the family from 3-7 p.m. on Friday and one hour prior to the service in the funeral home.

Interment will be in the Rochester IOOF Cemetery.

Memorials may be made to the Bethlehem Baptist Church, 3516 N. 650 East, Rochester.

Online expressions of sympathy may be made to her family at

Reader Comments

Posted: Saturday, August 10, 2013
Article comment by: Susan Rauschke Clausen

Wally & Terry,
I remember your mother well, and she was an amazing woman. Her generation accomplished so much, and were so versatile and talented. I am so sorry the loss of your mother.
With Deepest Sympathy to you and your family,
Susan Rauschke Clausen

Posted: Friday, August 9, 2013
Article comment by: Pete Smith

Pfeiffer Family,

I am sorry about your loss. RHS lost a great fan of some great teams, but you lost a lot more. My condolences.


Posted: Thursday, August 8, 2013
Article comment by: Kathy Rocchio

Randy and Family...I'm so sorry to hear about the passing of your Mother. You are in my thoughts and Prayers.

Kathy(Wentzel) Rocchio

Posted: Thursday, August 8, 2013
Article comment by: Vicki Meyer

To Don and Family, I am so Sorry of your loss of Donabelle. I have known her since I was a little Girl. She was Good Friends with my Grandma Susie. We all lived In Newcastle Township/ They were In the Same club together for Years. My Dad
Clifford ( Red ) Morris was a big Farmer for all In those days. The Good Days. She was a Wonderful neighbor and Lady. Vicki ( Morris ) Meyer...................

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