Once again, it is with great sadness that we at Playmakers Civic Theatre must relay to our patrons, especially to those loyal patrons who live in other communities, the death of long time theatre member Don Doell. He passed away on November 6, 2012 after a long and rare illness.
Don’s first play was A BAD YEAR for TOMATOES in 1992. He had a bit part as the sheriff of a backwater town smaller than Mayberry. After that his talent grew as fast as his love for community theatre. He played walk on roles as English cabbies and the old time family doctor making house calls. For a Christian, he played a little old Jewish man more than anyone at Playmakers in such plays as VISITNG MR. GREEN and Neil Simon’s THE SUNSHINE BOYS.
Once Don even played God in EARLY ONE EVENING AT THE RAINBOW BAR & GRILL. He endeared us in MIXED EMOTIONS, and as Norman in ON GOLDEN POND, both times playing opposite the late Jan Meyer Huston. We loved him TWICE in Ron Hill’s HOUSE for SALE. He also costarred with the first and greatest love of his life, his wife, Sue, in THE GIN GAME.
Don complained he could barely support the men’s section of the choir at Trinity Church, but he played many big & small parts in countless musicals: DAMN YANKEES, SCROOGE the MUSICAL, JACQUES BREL is ALIVE & WELL, and his last show, THE KING & I. He even traveled to Tiffin to play a role in BIG RIVER. In his later years he managed to find roles in musicals in which he wasn’t required to sing. But he could sing, and he was always an audience favorite no matter the part or the play. Don appeared in over 40 plays since that first time in the spring of 1992.
Don served on the Board of Trustees of Playmakers as president, vice president, and a trustee. He also served on the Playreading committee.
Anyone who knew Don knew he loved his wife and fellow Playmaker, Sue, and his daughters, son, and grandchildren. Don was a golfer, a hunter, a lover of history, especially that which involved the Marblehead lighthouse, and he loved his daily 4:30 “Happy Hour” as long as the doctor permitted. Don insisted that ethanol production is NOT the best use of sour mash corn.
Don was all about his family and the theatre. Both his family and the theatre already miss him dearly. After an 83 year run, the spotlight slowly went out on Don Doell. We know he is resting comfortably in the celestial balcony with his feet up on the railing, his libations at his side, his pipe in his mouth, and reading the script of a musical with the role of a life time!! Our prayers of comfort and consolation are given for Sue, the children, and the grandchildren.
Donald Ralph Doell
April 13, 1929 – November 6, 2012
“What matters is how we live and love and how we spend our dash.”
Excerpted from “The Dash”, a poem written by Linda Ellis