Donald L. DeLong passed away in his sleep at home with his family on March 21st from COPD. Don earned both his BS and MA from Western Michigan University and became an influential educator who impacted the lives of many. He was a lifelong learner fascinated with what it means to be human. He believed that love and acceptance of each other would significantly impact the lives of everyone. "Give the love to others that you wish for." He leaves his family to honor his life. Wife of almost 51 years, Nellie DeLong; daughters Susan (Eric) McKenzie and Nancy (Perry) Sweet. Grandchildren Josie DeLong, Morgan Smith, Dylan Smith, and Justin Sweet. Dear friend Ann Marie Baker. In Don's own words: "We don't grow from just the good things that happen in life – like fire turns iron into steel, -- We walk through the fire, we experience coming out knowing we will survive the trials yet to come with empathy and compassion for ourselves and for those whose shoes we have walked in." -D Don's family acknowledges the kindness and love shown to him by Nurse Larry and Aide Kaley of Hospice Care of Southwest Michigan and the members of Paw Paw's volunteer First Responders. Per Don's wishes, he has been cremated, and there will be no services. This summer a celebration will be held. Giving a donation to the children's grief program "Journey" provided by Hospice Care of Southwest Michigan would make Don happy. Memorials may be sent to Hospice Care of Southwest Michigan 222 N. Kalamazoo Mall, Suite 100, Kalamazoo, MI 49007. Note "Journey Program" on the memo. Share a memory or sign the online guestbook at: www.adamspawpaw.comGrief never ends . . . . but it changes. Not a place to stay. Grief is not a sign of weakness, or a lack of faith . . . . It is the price of love.