Donald Dean Gartman, age 87 of Turnersville, Texas passed away on Thursday, September 30, 2021 in Gatesville.
Funeral services will be held at 10:00 a.m. Monday, October 4, 2021 at the Turnersville Tabernacle, with James Baize officiating. Burial with military honors will follow at Restland Cemetery.
Donnie was born August 30, 1934 in the Harmony - Brown’s Creek communities of Coryell County, now part of Ft. Hood, to the late Murvil and Odessa White Gartman. He attended school in Pidcoke and Turnersville. He left school when he was 16 and received his GED. He married Reba Pruitt on May 20, 1955, the day after she graduated from high school. He began working in construction in the Temple area. From there, he joined the Texas Army National Guard in 1953 and went to work at CONSITE, now called M.A.T.E.S. at Ft. Hood.
Donnie Gartman entered the Texas National Guard on 26 Jan 1953 and served a total of 40 years, 10 months, and 13 days. Shortly after enlisting he was called to state active duty to assist with the aftermath of the tornado that hit Waco in the summer of 1953. He was again called to state active duty in 1967 when hurricane Beulah hit the coast of Texas. He served on active duty during the Cuban Missile Crisis at Ft. Polk, LA from 15 Oct 1961 to 9 Aug 1962. He served another tour of active military service at Ft. Hood, TX in 1991 and 1992. Donnie worked at MATES North Fort Hood as a civil service technician from 1953 to 1993, attaining the title of Assistant Director of MATES. His military rank was Chief Warrant Three. His awards included the Meritorious Service Medal, Army Commendation Medal, Army Reserve Components Achievement Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Armed Forces Reserve Medal, Army Service ribbon, among numerous other state awards.
Donnie and Reba farmed and ranched on several places over the years before returning home to Turnersville. During their life together, Donnie and Reba have been blessed by many friends and neighbors, especially in the Turnersville community. They were very happy during their farming and ranching years. Later in life together, they enjoyed the Gatesville RV club and all the comradery.
He was a member of the Gatesville Masonic Lodge #197 A.F. & A.M. and in 2018, was recognized for his sixty-years as a Master Mason. He also served on the Coryell County Tax Appraisal Board.
He was preceded in death by a son, Curtis Arlie Gartman; his parents; brother, M. D. Gartman; and sisters, Charlene May and JoAnn Barnett.
Donnie is survived by his wife of 66 years, Reba; son, Wayne Gartman and wife, Karen of Waco; daughters, Beverly Ward and husband, John of Gatesville, Texas, Valorie Grimes and husband, Bob of Rosharon, Amy Edwards and husband, Craig of College Station; brother, Randall Gartman and wife, Coleen of Pearl, Texas; grandchildren, Christopher Ward, Cameron Ward, Christina Barham, Chandler Grimes, Logan Grimes, Jordan Edwards, Zachary Edwards and Scott Graff; great grandchild, Waylon Grimes.
Donnie loved chasing a deal. He was buying, selling and trading to the very end.
The family wishes to extend their sincere appreciation to the staff of Coryell Health, Meadows Rehab center.
For those desiring, the family has requested that memorials be made to the Turnersville Cemetery Association, 8100 FM 182, Gatesville, TX 76528 or the Turnersville Community Center, P.O. Box 701, Gatesville, TX 76528.