On May 26, 2020, the Honorable Donald Robert Halstead, 77, of Kalamazoo, Michigan, peacefully passed away at his home in Elk Rapids surrounded by his family.
Born on Sept. 10, 1942, he grew up in Detroit, the only child of the late Loyola (Chesney) Halstead. He graduated from De La Salle Collegiate in 1960 and the University of Detroit with a B.S. in Accounting in 1964.
Judge Halstead then went on to receive his Juris Doctor from the University of Detroit in 1967. After clerking for the United States District Court from 1967-68, he relocated to Paw Paw, Mich., where he opened his own law office. In addition to his private practice, he was also Special Assistant Prosecutor (Family Law Division) from 1974-80.
In 1980, he was elected Probate Court Judge for the County of Kalamazoo, serving as Chief Judge from 1988-93. Judge Halstead said working with children and helping turn their lives around was the most rewarding part of his career. After 32 years of faithful service to the people of Kalamazoo County, he retired from the court on July 15, 2013.
Throughout his life, he enjoyed serving on many committees and associations including the Knights of Columbus, Families in Action of Kalamazoo, and the Board of Directors for the Community Dispute Resolution Center. His love for Michigan and the Detroit Tigers was second only to his great devotion to his faith and family. He loved camping, fishing, boating (an avid hydroplane enthusiast), golfing, and big bonfires on the beaches of Lake Michigan with his wife and children.
He and his wife, Andrea, were lucky enough to retire to Northern Michigan where he continued to serve the community as a member of the Board of Directors of Area Agency on Aging for Northwest Michigan. He was a member of Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Elk Rapids. He is survived by his loving wife of 50 years, Andrea (Farkas) Halstead; his children, Amie (Lawrence) Grayson, Donald Halstead, Jr., Andrew (Sarah) Halstead, and Michael (Mergil) Halstead; his grandchildren, Michael, Gabrielle, Genevieve, Madeleine, Josephine, Isabelle and Sean Grayson, Tyler, Ellie and Jadon Halstead, Michael, Mariana and Micaela Halstead whose sibling is due to be born in August. Visitation will be held on Thursday, June 11, 2020 at the Reynolds-Jonkhoff Funeral Home from 4-6 p.m. with a rosary prayed at 6 p.m. A Funeral Mass will take place at 11 a.m. on Friday, June 12 at Sacred Heart Catholic Church. Fr. Robert J. Zuchowski and Fr. Ben Rexroat will officiate. Burial will take place at the Grand Traverse Memorial Gardens. In lieu of flowers, please send donations to: Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist, Attn: MAO, 4597 Warren Road, Ann Arbor, MI 48105, Online giving at sistersofmary.org; Knights of Columbus #12294, Sacred Heart Catholic Church, 143 Charles Street, Elk Rapids, MI 49629. Kindly share thoughts and memories with the Halstead family at www.reynolds-jonkhoff.com.