Date of death: 11/20/2021
Saint Meinrad Class: O 1965
Donald Herman Schweisthal, 82, of Belmont, Vt., passed away peacefully in his sleep at home, Nov. 20, 2021. He was born in Aurora, Ill., Nov. 15, 1939, to Herman and Agnes (Morrissette) Schweisthal.
As a young man, he was a seminarian at Saint Meinrad Seminary in Indiana. He served in the U.S. Army, attending the Army Language School in Monterey, Calif., where he became fluent in Russian. He spent his time in service overseas as a Russian linguist.
Upon his return to civilian life, he briefly studied theology at the University of Chicago. In search of his calling, he sought reflective solitude at the Weston Priory. He found his heart was at home in Vermont – ruggedly beautiful, self-sufficient, resilient, and independent. He was a carpenter, electrician, draftsman, and he worked as a soils analyst for the state of Vermont Department of Transportation until he retired.
He had a quiet, gentle, and unassuming demeanor that belied his sharp wit, dry humor, intense passion, and immeasurable intellect. A lifelong learner, he had a voracious appetite for knowledge and was a student of philosophy, theology, economics, history, culture, and life. Although the chapters of his life could fill volumes, he was content to live simply in Vermont for more than five decades.
He is preceded in death by his parents, his infant daughter Naomi, his lifelong companion Virginia Maurelli, and his sister Judith Votisek. He leaves two daughters Lisa (Ted) Preister of North Dakota, and Ruth (Robert) Kenney of Montana, two granddaughters Kayla Gilchrist and Helaena Preister, sister Janet Stoppenbach, numerous nieces and nephews, and honorary family Pieter Bohen and family and Tom Sapp.