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
Don you are gone from our sight, but not in our hearts. You may have departed from this earth, but you will never leave our hearts. Through us you will live on. My sincere condolences to the entire family, especially my first God-daughter, Epiphani. I thank your parents for selecting me as your God-mother.
Love and peace to you all,
Don and I first met years ago at Kenwood. We were fast friends, but really rekindled our friendship after our 20th reunion and have been in touch since then. We shared a mutual love for good books and good movies. My prayers will be with all of his family and friends.
I met you as Donyale when we were in 4th grade at Wacker Elementary school in Chicago. You and Alvin were always creating comic books that were a little racy for a 4th grader (lol), but it showed your creativity and passions early on. The mention about you having a memory like an elephant was definitely on point! Don was our historian and made a point to be the glue of our Wacker family. There is so much I could share about Don’s impact on my life, but the most important was being a true friend who made time to talk, uplift and make me laugh. I will miss you my friend, but I know I will see you again.
Praying that your beautiful family feels God’s comfort and peace during this time. I pray that joy will return to their hearts and tears are replaced with the beautiful memories of Don. Hugs to you all.
Don has always loved a full and expressive life. Few would appreciate the richness he led life.
Having reconnected as adults and fathers, he consistently led with his heart unapologetically.
I’m so glad that the stars aligned and placed me into your life. I was assigned as your nurse and a genuine friendship blossomed. My goal was to provide you holistic care – to care for the whole person: Mentally, physically, emotionally, spiritually and socially. You were very intelligent, articulate and kind – a rare breed. We laughed, talked, I encourged you to be proactive in your care, to question everything, and most importantly, never to lose faith.
There were so many things that we shared in common beginning with being Chicago natives, whom served in the World’s Finest Navy (along with our spouses); Children’s names, anniversary dates, birthdates, our love for Chicago foods, music, being chatterboxes etc. Thank you for trusting me to cut your hair and shape up your beard. See, we went from nurse-patient to barber-client and ended as sister & brother. I’m glad that we at least had the opportunity to hang out outside of a hospital setting, you, Nicoda, KC and myself. Most importantly, I was honored to be involved in what was the most critical time in your life all the way until the end. These past 5 months of us knowing each other blessed us all and I’m thankful to you and Nicoda for entrusting you in my care. I miss you and pray that we meet again. You left an indelible legacy behind and I still have to complete your novel, “Brandywine, A Chicago Trilogy!” Thank you for choosing me as your “Favorite Healthcare Provider” for you were definitely my “Favorite Patient of All Time!” May God rest your soul and continue to bless your beautiful, loving family.
With deepest sympathy to you and family. Keep strong and fun of faith and you will make it. Your cousin. Dorthy Johnson
Don it goes beyond words and this realm and state of mind on the gift of knowing you bought to my life. Peaceful Journey My Big Brother and Peace and Blessings To All Of The Family/Friends. Our Motto PEACE AND 1 LOVE!!!!!
To my dear friend and Brother Don, this is not one of my best days in life I am feeling a bit sad and my heart is hurting. We were stationed together, some years ago and I remember that we have had so many conversations about life, work and family. I will miss you brother Don your spirits always ran with the highest vigor and all intentions and that was just you being a good dude. Gone to soon and one of the good ones is heaven bound. Rest easy my brother, time to rest, your work is done. I’m in hopes of seeing you on the other side my brother. Rest up King!!
I met Don In Hebron church. He always had a good story and was a great father and husband. Became fast friends with him and his wife . We spent holidays together and the kids became great friends. Over the years we talked and kept in touch celebrated each others moments in life such as his writing his books finally. Don is a friend that can never be replaced. Good spirited love to joke. When it got down to it knew how to hold A conversation that most people would have run from. He will be greatly missed but he has definitely left his mark on the world gone too soon Forever in our hearts
We are sending our condolences to you, Nicola and family. You will forever be in our prayers
My deepest condolences and sympathy to the family. May peace find you soon.
Lucretia Bailey & Family
If there was one thing Don was excellent at, it was words. I barely have any to convey what he has meant, and continues to mean to me. He used words to express his creativity, his dreams, his plans. His words were encouraging, passionate, really real. He could uplift you on the one hand and give you a good kick in the pants on the other – and sometimes at the same time with his words!!! lol!!
But always, it was always, out of the love and concern he had for his people, his family, friends – his tribe.
I’ve known Don since 6th grade. A tub full of written words and drawings are a reminder of our long and wonderful friendship. And a small comfort now that he’s moved on.
My heart grieves for our loss, family. My heart is with you – May God comfort us all as we say “fare well” <3 Rest well my friend. Love you.
Don, you were one of my very first author friends and you always made me smile. You were hugely talented and your stories were some of the best horror I ever had the privilege to edit.
I can’t believe you are gone. I’m going to miss you my friend.
To my Dear Friend/Brother I was so overwhelmed with emotion when I heard of your passing. You were a great friend and you always dropped great knowledge to me and everyone that came in contact with you. I was waiting patiently for the spin-off of your book. You were a very talented man. We will miss you tremendously. Rest in Heaven my friend.
My deepest sympathies for your loss, Mr. Miskel. The best dad to my bestie, Epiphani! Wishing the family courage, strength and love during this time. Prayers for all🙏🏾🙏🏾.
You have definitely left a lasting impact on everyone you came in contact with. Such a great spirit and awesome personality, Gone to soon. It was a pleasure and honor knowing you. My deepest condolences to Nicoda and family.
Don is my brother from another mother, like so many others. I met him online in a writing group. I had come from another group where people were forever nasty and petty to one another. That was not allowed in Don’s presence. It was like having a big brother who’d look out for you on the school yard.
Don never failed to make everyone around him laugh, whether it be pimp slapping, getting drunk with the sugar weasels, or talking about our three-headed step children Don gave birth to. He could make you laugh on the rainiest of days.
From time to time, I’ve needed to pimp slap myself to sound more confident and sure of myself. When I relax and allow myself to be free to say anything, I call it channelling my inner Don. I hope he knew the profound impact he had on so many. I mean who am I but some random woman who never even got to meet him in real life, but he has helped me so many times…sometimes when he didn’t even know he did it! And yet I will miss this man terribly. The world is just a bit emptier now without Don Miskel in our lives.
Thessy’s will always have a place for you Don, my friend. The sugar weasels are pouring the drinks, and Teddy’s robots have your room ready. I dare anyone and everyone reading this to google what a sugar weasel is…and then I promise you that’s not correct. They are rainbow colored weasels who wear smoking jackets and smoke cigars while getting into all sorts of mischief. That’s what Don said, and he knew better than anyone.
Children, grandchildren, mother, father, sister and brother and extended family.
I am sending hugs, kisses, prayers and comfort to you during this difficult time.
The memorial service was amazing and like him full of love.
Cousin from Illinois
I learned of Don’s passing yesterday and was shocked and heartbroken to say the least. We shared some good times in the training division at NAVSTA. Don was a brilliant writer, and his love of music was second to none! I pray for peace and understanding as well as healing for all of Don’s loved ones and friends! I’ll see you in Heaven my friend!
Dearest Brother Don (Denni) I miss you. I know you had to go and I can’t be mad. I know you don’t do the soft thing as you called it! BUT KNOW that I won’t ever forget your love for me and our laughter. I still never got to send your cookies. But I will bake some in your honor!! I LOVE YOU.
I am a better man because of you Big Bro. It was an honor and a privilege to serve along side you. I have had such a tough time accepting that you are no longer here with us in the flesh. But, I know that God needed another angel to guide and protect us. On behalf of my family we will cherish all of our memories and honor your name. Thank you for loving me and my family just as you do your own. I love you Bro! Until we meet again. God Bless you all!
Don, we are so sad at Thessy’s to hear of your passing. You were one of the pillars of our community, as it seems you were for so many other communities. Your stories of your father teaching you to defend yourself growing up have always stuck in my mind, and your encouragement and assumption that I could learn martial arts if I wanted to encouraged me to pursue tai chi and bagua zhang. I’m now learning from a teacher in the Wudang mountains, and remembering your love for stories and fun helps me get back to writing just for the love of it. Sometimes life spins you in circles, but people like you help us ground again and remember what we love. You made a profound difference to a lot of people, Don, and I will miss your memes that made me laugh out loud every time I tuned in to what was going on in your corner of the multiverse.
I enjoyed you as a child having good times and conversations. I enjoyed you as an adult watching from afar the great husband, father, and grandfather you have become. I enjoyed our conversation on how the Challenger could outrace my Charger. I salute you this day my dear brother friend, and I declare you the winner. I will miss you calling me Kim Marie Joy. I will always have your final word of I love you Kim scratched in my heart. I will truly miss you, may your soul Rest in Paradise.
Chief, Don, Brother,
My heart broke when I heard your passing. You’ve always the great mentor immediately when I first met you, then soon later you became an amazing friend. I’ve always the lucky one to have you apart of my life. From A school memories, to constant advice as I mold my career, to becoming a friend thank you. Rest Easy Brother you are missed.
My condolences to the family. I worked with Don in the military and he will be missed. He was a wonderful person and had one of the best smiles. He was a great mentor and always told the best stories and gave the best advice. He always had time to share a story with you and treated everyone around him like family. You will be missed my Brother take your rest in the arms of our Father God.
Dear Family & Loved Ones
May God be with all of you during this time of grievances. Don was a little extra special to each of us. When he was in your presence he gave you him. Not ready to dismiss you and or making you feel you’re wasting his time. He knew you couldn’t outwork money, although he was fortunate to be a great provider he chose himself to be the stories we share about him. He left us memories and his legacy.
We have stories of how he loved us. How he was mindfully present in all he does. That’s a gift of purposefully living.
Granny taught us all so much as kids and those trips to Kankakee still impacts me. I never saw a family who loved the Lord and lived that love for the Lord like Don’s family demonstrated. I’m grateful that my first experience and introduction to the Lord was through them.
I say that to say Don lived what was passed down to him for generations and although he has transitioned his legacy will continue to live through all of us because of his upbringing and values instilled since birth.
My most memorable moment of him is when he started his Marco Polo app for the cousins. He tagged me in it, and although I felt uncomfortable sharing, I still felt that cousin love and inclusiveness. He would try to make sure everyone felt their post matters. Like, it’s not just something we’re doing.
That’s was Don for you. Once you’re family, you’re family for life. He lived that authentically.
Thank you again for sending me an autographed book of your novel as well and I’m honored to learn we share the same birthdaaaaay! 🙂
I love you COUSIN and miss you dearly.