ROXBURY — Donald Broekema of Roxbury passed away on Jan. 6, 2014, at the Albany Medical Center after a brief illness.
Don was the son of John and Barbara Broekema, born on Oct. 19, 1961, just a few minutes after his twin brother, John (Jay). They were later joined by his little sister, Deborah. He grew up in Mt. Tremper, and graduated from Onteora Central School.
Don is survived by his best friend and partner in adventure, Karen Munro; and son, Allyn Shultis and his wife, Meg of Ambler, Pa. Also surviving are his mother, Barbara of Mt. Tremper; his brother, Jay of Kerhonson and Jay’s daughters, Heather of Troy, and Jessica, and Briana at home; and his sister, Deborah, her husband Harry Baldwin and their children, Cody and Emma of Willow.
Don was predeceased by his father, John Broekema; his sister-in-law, Chris; and a special friend and mentor, Bob Munro.
Don was well-known for his love of animals, music and the outdoors; hunting, fishing, working his dogs, paddling his kayak, riding his motorcycle, hitting the slopes with his ski family and hiking in the peaks of his beloved Catskill Mountains.
He retired from the New York State Department of Corrections in April after 25 years of dedicated service.
He was a member of the Ulster County Sheriff’s Department and the Town of Shandaken Police Department. Don felt a deep respect for fellow law enforcement officers which extended to our nation’s veterans.
His appreciation for the service of others led him to work tirelessly last fall to provide a hunting experience for Vets through the Wounded Warrior Project. Looking for ways to help others was a way of life for this kind man with the quick wit, intelligent mind and mischievous smile.
Don made the most of his retirement; traveling to Maine, camping with friends, enjoying bluegrass music, exploring the Adirondacks, and traveling west to enjoy the family’s annual fishing trip on Idaho’s South Fork.
Family and friendship were everything to Don.
With each new interest came a different group of friends to enjoy, learn from and add to his growing “family.” He cherished the time he spent with each of his nieces and nephews, and celebrated the special gifts that made them each unique, usually with a camera in hand! He shared a special bond with Allyn Michael whose life was a constant source of pride to Don.
Calling hours will be held at The Emerson, 5340 Route 28, near his favorite peak, Mt. Tremper from 1 to 8 p.m. Friday, Jan. 10.
A service to celebrate Don’s life will be held at the Gould Memorial Church, Route 30 in Roxbury at 1 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 11, with a gathering of friends and family to follow. Friends and family are encouraged to dress in attire fit for your favorite outing with Don (ski gear, hunting clothes, etc.)
For Don’s ski family, we will gather at Belleayre Mountain on Sunday to make a few turns in honor of our friend. As we gather to mourn the loss of this good man, we know his strength and spirit of giving will carry on through the thousands of friends Don met and cared for along the way.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made in Don’s name to one of the following charities: The New York Ruffed Grouse Wounded Warrior Project, The Heart of the Catskills Humane Society, P.O. Box 88, Delhi, NY 13753, or to the Country Cutting Gallery Relay for Life Team.
Funeral arrangements were entrusted to the Miller Funeral Home, Roxbury.