Donald was born October 16th, 1937, at the Johnson Clinic in Cortez, CO to Helen Francis Miller Steerman and Gorham Fredric Steerman. He was the second child of three, older sister, Janelle and younger sister, Beverly. Don spent his first 17 years on the family farm in the Lakeview Community. He attended grades 1 thru 8 at Lake View Elementary from 1943 to 1951. He attended High School at Montezuma County High School in Cortez, graduating in 1955. Donald graduated from Colorado State University in 1959 with a degree in Animal Husbandry. He worked his way through college as a Sheep Herdsman of the University’s research flock.
In 1960 he worked for the Codding/Armour Packing Co. and Searle Drug Co. on cattle estrus research. From 1961 to 1963 he worked at the San Juan Basin Branch Experiment Station as Cattle Herdsman and Farm Foreman. From 1964 to 1970 Donald farmed and ranched south of Cortez. From 1971 to 1976 he worked for Redd Ranches in LaSal, Utah and Paradox, CO as Ranch Foreman. In 1975 Don started working for the United States Farmer’s Home Administration/Farm Service Agency as a Loan Officer and County Supervisor for 26 years, retiring in 2001. He always raised cattle and ranched full time after retirement.
In 1961 he and Karen Fitzgerald were married in Mancos, CO. They have five children, Donnie, Sandy, Sonie, Shawna, Devan and foster daughter Cammy. They divorced August 29, 1991.
Donald and Joy LuAnn Umberger Johnson were married April 10, 1994. Joy had three grown daughters and families, Teresa, Tracy and Elaine.
Don was preceded in death by his parents, Gorham and Helen, his sister, Janelle Carver, his brother’s-in-law Tom Carver and Gene Armstrong and his grandson Randy Atkins.
He is survived by his wife, Joy Steerman, his children, Don and Clea Steerman of Meeker, CO, Sandy and Stan Eubanks of Dolores, Sonie and Matt Buffington of Cortez, Shawna and Kenny McLaughlin of Cortez, Devan and Bobbie Steerman of Farmington, NM, Cammy and Brit Atkins of Lubbock, TX, Teresa and Rusty Hector of Pagosa Springs, Tracy Johnson of Durango, Elaine and David McGettrick of Pinedale, WY, his sister Beverly Armstrong of Littleton, CO his grandchildren, Michelle, Jeanette, James, Becca, Brandon, Casey, Marinda, Drew, Shayla, Haley, Ronni, Sarah, Taylah, Brittney, Justin, Kaitlin, Russel, Raley, Lenny, Elle, Wes, Joe, Mike and Jesse, and their spouses, whom he loved as his own. He is also survived by his 23 great grandchildren. In addition, Don is survived by numerous cousins, nieces, nephews and friends all of whom he loved.
In Don’s own words (with a glimpse of his style of humor), “say something nice ie: loved raising cattle, loved his family, good father or he was a sorry bastard.” Having said that, he was a wonderful father to all his 9 children, no matter when they came into his life, an amazing grandfather, an outstanding cattleman, and we are all blessed to have been loved by him.
Donald passed from this life on Saturday, November 26th, 2022, at Southwest Memorial Hospital surrounded by his family and wrapped in love.
In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to the Southwestern Colorado Livestock Association, PO Box 393, Cortez, Colorado 81321 with a memo “on behalf of Don Steerman”. It will be used to support their local scholarship program. Don was a lifelong member of this organization.
Services will be Saturday, December 3rd at 10:00 at the Lewis Arriola Community Center with graveside services following at Summit Ridge Cemetery in Dolores.
Life story was written by Don Steerman.