On June 27th, Donyale Demetrius Miskel, decided to make his early grand entrance as
an 8 month old preemie, in Chicago, Illinois. He was the first child born to the union of
Donald and Clemistene Miskel. His name, Donyale, is a derivative of his dad’s name,
and his middle name from a bible verse in the book of 3 John verse 12.
As a Chicago native, Don attended Wacker elementary and was an alum of Kenwood
Academy. After graduating from Kenwood, he decided to join the Navy until retirement
as a Chief Petty Officer. His Naval career started with bootcamp in San Diego, landing
him in Longbeach,CA, he completed deployments both from the West and East Coast
taking him all around the world. During his career he transitioned from being a sonar
tech to a master at arms instructor leading a satellite school in the Hampton Roads
area. He was also part of DOD police and one of the trainers and qualifiers, which
included many different certifications and specialties. He achieved a Bachelor’s degree
and completed some Master’s work in Criminal Justice with a focus on anti-terriorism
and physical security. His love for this field of work, presented him with many
opportunities to educate children and adults about physical security.
Boy did he have a lot to say and was full of personality. Anyone knowing Don knew he
could talk and laugh the day away. He was just as focused when it came to
accomplishing his work and achieving goals. Don was just as cerebral as he was
artistic. He could take you deep into a subject through conversation, causing thought
provoking moments. He would amaze you with his drawings and writings, as well. As an
author, Don has written collaboratively in several anthologies, along with his wife,
penned a few books and was a blogger. As an artist, his drawings were requested by
entertainers, other authors, business owners, family and friends.
There is one thing for certain, and two things for sure, Don looovvvveeed music and
movies. He would say if he was stuck on an island he could survive if he had music and
movies. His love for music and movies spread across many genres. He enjoyed the
artistry and creativity of music and movies to the point he knew the backstory of writers,
instrumentalists, producers, actors and the directors. He was one to watch the director’s
cut of a movie he truly enjoyed. His love of music was born from his early exposure to
all things funk, his father’s doing, and all things Gospel, his mother’s contribution.
Don and his family were always up for a good road trip. He did not care if it was from
Virginia to California, Chicago and back. His great love for family and friends was
indeed worth the travel, while enjoying the view of nature along the way. For Don his
family didn’t just include those he was biologically related to, it encapsulated those he
surrounded himself with whether having served in the military or met along the way. His
friendship-tribes knew no distance. Before social media, Don would write letters to keep
in touch, get phone cards to call or drop by if he was in the area. Don being a kid at
heart, was a natural choice for many to ask him to be a god-father, in which he took
great pride. He adopted many young adults as his also. His infectious laugh and smile
will be missed by many. Don touched the hearts of others in all generations.
On January 23rd, 2022 Donyale “Don” Miskel marked the end of an era and battle with
a rare diagnosis. Let us not remember how Don was in his final days but how he
enjoyed life. He was a man full of laughter and love. His wife Nicoda lovingly referred to
him as a ‘Social Butterfly”, because he did not meet strangers. Always about security,
but could disarm you with his smile and laughter. Besides being a Big brother to Carolyn
and Christopher, he was a brother to many. There is not one chapter of his life where he
didn’t maintain friendships. Don kept childhood friends, friends from daycare and
elementary, friends from high school, serving in the military on the west and east coast,
as well as journeys in between. His brotherhood created a family environment wherever
he was planted. Don loved his “kinfolk”, seeing their faces, laughing and talking with
them brought him great joy. He had the memory of an elephant and often recalled the
many adventures that were clear in his mind. This reminded others that they were
forever a part of his life.
Donyale D. Miskel was preceded by his grandparents, Theodore and Clementine
Miskel, Leoner and Thelma Hudson, Uncles Robert Smith, Sr., Kennis Hudson, Alfred
Houston and Auntie Thelma “Milla” Stonewall, departing from this life. To cherish the
witnessing of his life, Nicoda, wife of 29 years, children: Elijah (Jazmine), Epiphani,
Xavier, Isaiah. His father, Donald (Denise) Miskel, and his mother, Clemistene Miskel.
His sister, Carolyn, and brother, Christopher (Dominique). His kin-brother Theo.
Grandchildren: Cairo “Dute”, Egypt, King, Jeremiah, Eloise. God-children: Adam,
Gabby, Kyle, Josiah, Thalia, Aryanna, Mipromise and Prince, and others he adopted
along the way. A host of aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews and cousins.
Today, Don would not want you to be broken over his passing, he’d want you to
remember the times spent with good food, music, laughter and cherish the memories
you made with him.
“Bow your head and receive your crown my love.
Your road trip on earth has come to an end.”
Celebration of Life
Family Choice Funerals & Cremations
5401 Indian River Road, Virginia Beach, VA 23464