Donald J. Svoboda

Leaving his wheelchair far behind and surrounded by a family who cherished him and cheered him home, Don Svoboda graduated to heaven July 8, 2019.

Don was born in Cleveland to Charles and Bertha Svoboda. He was an Eagle Scout and graduated from Bedford High School, Electronics Technology Institute and Cleveland State University. A lover of all things electronic, he began his career as an electronics technician and then spent 29 years at Motorola, as a well-respected systems engineer, designing public safety radio communication systems.

Don’s family always relied on the certainty that he could do his “Daddy fix.” He could figure out how to fix anything, but just as importantly, he was diligent to teach his sons and daughter those and other life skills. In fact, his life was dedicated to helping others. He was part of the team that founded Hope Church in Brunswick; led a rebuilding mission trip following Hurricane Katrina; participated in mission trips to serve the deaf in Jamaica; and traveled to Gabon, West Africa, where he used his skills to repair a remote jungle hospital’s communication system.

Don was a faithful and loving husband to Karen, his wife of almost 42 years; devoted father, who was so proud of Andy (Michelle), Nathan (Andrea), Greg (Catherine) and Natalie (Brandon) Stockdale; proud grandfather of his 13 delightful grandchildren, Andrew, Curtis, Adam, Annalee, Reesa, Izzy, Hannah, Sarah, Lucas, Bella, Brooke and Ciara.

Don was an enthusiastic bicyclist, often riding up to 50 miles in the early morning, alone or with one of his biking buddies. He enjoyed photography, ballroom dancing, tent-camping, playing harmonica, studying God’s word, reading history books and mentoring his young friend, Mason. Known for his intense dislike of vegetables and his love affair with Cheetos, candy orange slices and York peppermint patties, he always enjoyed a good meal with friends, but nothing adventurous or spicy, because in his words, he didn’t want “pain with his food.” Don never lost his sense of humor. He had a beautiful voice and loved all kinds of music. His favorites included the tight harmonies of acapella vocals, ‘60s music he could harmonize with, and most of all, praise and worship songs to his Lord and savior Jesus Christ.

He is now holding his granddaughter, Madelyn, who passed away at birth.

In lieu of flowers, donations in his memory can be made either to Caribbean Deaf Ministries, a ministry near and dear to Don’s heart, which serves the unreached deaf population of Jamaica, Grace Church of Middleburg Heights, the ALS Association or Hospice of the Western Reserve.

Waite and Son Funeral Home handled arrangements.

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