Donald Reetz


Donald Reetz


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[gn_heading style=”1″]Donald Karl Reetz[/gn_heading]

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Donald Karl Reetz was born in Spokane WA on January 28th, 1955. He passed away in his home with his beloved and very protective dogs by his side on November 2nd 2011. Donald started out working at logging and then learned about mining from his brother-in-law Ed. He left mining to become a border patrol guard in San Clemente, CA, eventually returning to mining in Washington in 1987. In 1989 Don went to work for the Stillwater Mine. He had the highest respect and love for his co-workers/friends and planned on continuing mining as long as he was standing. Donald was a self-taught hunter since the age of 13 and enjoyed sharing his skills with others.

Donald is survived by his brother Les; and sisters Kathryn and Kristie; and also by his nieces and nephews; Kathy, Laury, Kelly, Elizabeth, Frankie, Tommy, Amy, Anna, Harry, Donny, Michael and eight great nieces and nephews.

Whether it was a marathon phone call or a wonderfully written letter, his words were always a joy to receive. Known for his humor, knowledge, generosity and love of life, Donald will be missed by many.

A memorial service will be held on Saturday, November 12th at 1:00PM at the Evangelical Church, 34 Woodard Ave, Absarokee, MT.


To Don’s Family,
I met Don in 2000 as a grade control geologist. Don was working in one of “my stopes” with his partner Jerry Good; 36W200 Stope. After about a year, Don and I began to have short “chats” after I was done geologizing his face. He had quite the rye sense of humor. He was also well spoken and always made me feel bad when I used “poor language” in his presence. There was the time, during a fire, when he and I were in his stope and smelled stench. We both donned Our rescuers and headed for my tractor. As we passed the stopes along the 35 decline, we picked up 4 of 5 other fellows and drove to the 38 shaft station, there to be hoisted out of the mine. (the fire was on the east ramp, yet none of us knew that until later). There was the time I asked Don if he would teach me to drill a blast hole, in the face, and he commenced to teach me how to run a jackleg. Of course, I was not very good at it. Don as well as many other Stillwater Miners, made me feel a part of the UG Fraternity. I’m grateful to have made his acquaintance.
I met a lot of miners in my day, and I will always remember Don, apart from the crowd. He was always respectful, helpful and courteous. I was honored to work with him. He and I spent at least one afternoon at the shooting range, along with his wife and I suspect we could have done that more.
His family has my deepest sympathy. No doubt he was a wonderful man in the family. Thanks for allowing me to share my short time working with Don. I have and will continue to miss him.

David Ryckman
Friend and
Sr. Development Geologist
Denison Mines (USA) Corp.

Thank you to Kathryn and Pinky for sharing Donald with me. My life was made better by his patience and insights. He taught me how to shoot and many other things.

Julie Shiflett

I am so sad to hear of Donald’s passing. He meant a lot to my husband and me and we always loved him. He videotaped our wedding for us in 1992, and that video means the world to us. My husband treasures the knife that Donald made for him, and when I think of Donald I have many happy memories and I think of his yummy cocoa rolls. May you rest in peace, Donald, until we one day meet again.

Alex Nave


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