Donald Edward Self (but he prefers you call him Don… or better yet, Papa Don or Chief Jerk) of Wildwood, Missouri, sadly passed away on December 30, 2021, at the age of 70. A native Texan, he was born in Fort Worth, November 12, 1951 to Oscar and Marjorie Self.
Don was a proud Aggie, having graduated with both a bachelor's degree in the field of Electrical Engineering and MBA from Texas A&M. Right out of college, he worked for Fisher Controls in Iowa, then Southwestern Public Service in Amarillo, Texas, to be closer to family when he and Sheryl started a new family of their own. In 1989, he and his family of five moved to St. Louis, Missouri, where he worked at Drazen-Brubaker Energy Consultants in St. Louis, until he started his own business, Self Services, a Co-Generation and Energy Consulting Firm for companies such as General Motors and Delphi. Always willing to take risks, he started another new business in 2008, A Couple O’ Jerks Beef Jerky and Relish Company. Since then, he’s been a Jack of All Trades – a groundskeeper at St. Albans Golf Course, Belayer at Wyman Center, Facility Support at The Crossing, Bus Driver for the Rockwood School District, and even Insurance Salesman now and again. A true Renaissance Man, he was always dreaming up new DIY projects and toying around with unique inventions, and even held a few original patents.
His love of life was known to all, and his hobbies were far-ranging. He was a skilled banjo player, an avid bluegrass appreciator, and a regular motorcycle rider. He was very proud of his recent acquisition, a Honda Goldwing, and the rides he was able to take with friends and family. He had a giving heart, with a long history of volunteer work for numerous churches and schools, particularly focused on helping children and teens. He loved playing guitar and banjo in the The Crossing Worship Band at Fenton (where he also volunteered for the Greeting Team) and playing in the Labadie Jam Music Group. He was also a Road Captain for The Crossing Riders Motorcycle Club. Wherever he worked, played, or volunteered, he would always leave his mark, usually with a dry and keen sense of humor – he was King of Dad Jokes way before they were popular! He was an expert shortcut finder, designated fire starter and grill master, nickname connoisseur, terrible pun initiator, and proud teaser and encourager of all.
Don is survived by his wife of 48 years, Sheryl Self (Kuykendall) of Wildwood, MO; BJ and Sarah (Hager) Self of Ballwin, MO and their children Luke and Simon Self; Justin and Colleen (Boyer) Self of Wildwood, MO and their children Aubrey, Emmett, Adelyn, and Hattie Self; and Ryan and Katie (Moloney) Self of Burbank, CA. He also leaves behind his mother-in-law, Mary Kuykendall; sister-in-law, Virginia Kuykendall; nephew, Terrell Kuykendall; and brother, David Self; along with countless fellow musicians, volunteers, work friends, and church family.
There will be no formal service at this time, but a celebration of life service will be scheduled at a later date. Friends and acquaintances are encouraged to leave their favorite stories, jokes, and memories of Don for his family to cherish using the Share Memories button above.
Don loved pouring into youth through music, team-building experiences like Wyman, and just being present like he was for his boys and grandchildren. To that end, if you would like to make a donation to an organization that aligns with how he led his life, please look into one of the following:
R3 Development is an organization that works with youth to teach them to respect dignity, restore integrity, and revitalize community.
Address: R3 Development NFP
P.O. Box 2197
East St. Louis, IL 62202
The Crossing Church, where Don volunteered, served, and attended for over the last decade.
Address: 114 N Eatherton Road
Chesterfield, MO 63005