Don was born February 16, 1935, to Wirt S. and Louise (Corum) Bales. He grew up on his family’s farm at Hatchel where he learned at a very early age to work and milk cows. He also developed a close relationship with his grandparents Homer and Pearl (Crimm) Corum. He always had a deep love of and respect for God and mother nature. Don was baptized and became a member of the Hatchel Church of Christ at age 13. He attended school at Hatchel where he met his future wife. Don graduated from Ballinger High School in 1953 then joined the U.S. Navy on his 19th birthday in 1954. He was a quartermaster aboard ship until his honorable discharge in 1958.


Don and Myrtie Workman were married on July 9, 1956 and they were well blessed with three children and 1 grandson and many good friends. From 1958 through 1964 they lived in Winters where he worked at Western Auto, Pan American Mfg. and G. W. Strake Oil Co. Then they moved their family back to Hatchel and their farm. Don was always busy with a big garden, fruit trees, wood carving and welding metal art. Don and Myrtie spent almost 64 years together and whatever one was doing the other one was usually helping. Don retired from farming in 1996, but he never retired from life. They loved to hit the road in the pickup and head to Wyoming and Colorado. In 2015, Don moved to Ballinger Healthcare and Rehab Center where he passed away April 24, 2020 after battling dementia and Parkinson’s.


Don was preceded in death by his parents, sister Iris Bryan and his son Stephen Bales.


He is survived by his wife and 2 daughters Stephanie (Eric) Johnson of Hatchel and Elisha (Randy) Kochanski of Corpus Christi, grandson Clay Johnson and his sister Anne Virdagamo of Houston. He is also survived by many in-laws, nieces and nephews.


Viewing will be held Monday, April 27, 2020 from 9:00 am to 8:00 pm and a private graveside service at Old Runnels Cemetery will be held on Tuesday April 28 at 2:30 pm for close family members with David Workman officiating.


A huge thank you to all of the staff at the nursing home, especially the CNA’s on C Hall, Alicia, Lori and Patsy who sat with him, and Ballinger Hospital, and Shannon Hospital. And a special thank you to the Friday Lunch Bunch. If you wish to remember Don please do so with a donation to your favorite charity.