Donald E. Egner, 80

Donald E. Egner, 80, lifetime resident of rural North Manchester, passed away peacefully on Jan. 26, 2016, at Grace Village of Winona Lake.

Don was a tiny miracle born to Joe and Katherine (Barnes) Egner on Jan. 18, 1936. He was delivered at home in Stringtown, by Mildred Brubaker. He weighed under 2 pounds and Mildred placed him in a shoebox for a bed. Neighbors and friends skated down the river to visit the tiny baby boy in his homemade incubator.

Both parents preceded him in death, along with a baby brother, Thomas Egner, who died a few hours after birth.

Don leaves behind three sons, Edward Egner, Dennis (Jodi) Egner, and Scott (Kim) Egner, all of North Manchester. He is also survived by eight grandchildren, and six great-grandchildren that he loved dearly.

Don attended Laketon School. He held several jobs over his lifetime but he took great pride in his work in the gunsmithing and leather shop at Schutz Brothers of North Manchester. Yet nothing compared to his love for the family farm and business, Egner Enterprise. The family's business was started in the summer of 1962 with a family road trip to Michigan for the purchase of their first three concrete molds. From there Joe, Kate, Don, and his then wife, Carolyn Wolf Harting, began a business that thrived for many years creating hand poured cement products ranging from bird baths, to statuary and other assorted lawn and novelty items.

The once home-based endeavor grew and required a retail storefront leading the family to move from their original homestead on 950 N to the current location south of N. Manchester on the corner of St. Rd 13 and 900N. As times and mass manufacturing evolved, Don continued to grow the family business, evolving as necessary to add a variety of services and goods to meet the community's needs.

Over the years you could find almost anything there from dog food  to red worms to  bottled propane gas. Don loved chatting with his customers, neighbors, and friends who stopped regularly for fresh eggs, a can of pop, or just for a visit as he sat on the porch in his favorite chair. And he never turned down a request from a grandchild for a ride in his golf cart.

Don was an inactive member of the Ijamsville United Methodist Church. He served as the sexton of the Laketon Cemetery for many years until his health prevented him from carrying out his duties. Along with those duties he also sold monuments for the Caldwell Monument Company. Don enjoyed traveling with his camper to the Tri-State Gas Engine and Tractor show near Portland every year where he would set up a display and sell his cement items. He loved the old steam engines and antique tractors and equipment.

Don's health began to fail and with great reluctance he temporarily relocated to Grace Village where he lived for the remaining two years of his life. Leaving his home, his dog Toby, and all that he loved so dearly was difficult for him, but necessary. The family would like to express their gratitude to Grace Village Healthcare for the exemplary care and love that they bestowed upon Don during his time in their care.

Visitation and services will be on February 6, 2016. Friends may call at McKee Mortuary, North Manchester from 9:00am-11:00am with funeral service at 11:00 am, officiated by Don's niece, the Rev. Elizabeth Wolf.

Burial will follow at the Laketon Cemetery. Preferred memorial contributions in Don's memory may be made to The Wabash County Animal Shelter, 810 Manchester Ave, Wabash, IN 46992.

Condolences can be sent at


Posted on 2016 Jan 28