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Donald Joseph Lineback

Donald Joseph Lineback
Donald Joseph Lineback
- March 5, 2018

Donald Joseph Lineback was born in Rapid City, SD, on October 31, 1952, to Donald L. and June E. (Keeler) Lineback of Winner, SD.  He was raised in Winner and attended school there until 1970 when the family moved to Mission, SD.  He graduated from Todd County High School in 1971.  Shortly after that he moved to the Black Hills area.  He met Robin Schiesser in Sturgis, SD, in 1976 at the local truck stop where she worked as a waitress.  He made a habit of letting her know each time he came in to have a cup of coffee, that he would ask her out “if her boyfriend wasn’t so big.”  Finally, on the weekend before Labor Day in 1977, he came into the restaurant and made that same comment to her and she took him up on the invitation as the boyfriend was no longer in the picture.  On Labor Day weekend, they had their second date and he asked her to marry him.  They were married in Sturgis on October 31, 1977. 

     Don began his driving career in Winner, SD, where he drove delivering feed for his grandfather who owned the local feed store.  Don loved to drive.  If it was motorized, he wanted to drive it.  He obtained his private pilot’s license when he was in high school and flew airplanes with his dad.  He also obtained a motorcycle endorsement and rode a motorcycle when he invited Robin on their very first date.  Don had a few various jobs in his life after he graduated from high school.  These jobs included a short time at the Homestake mine in Lead, SD, a year working for Burlington Northern Railroad, and a couple of years on his father-in-law’s ranch near Hayes, SD.  He tried to find something that would not take him away from his wife and family, but it seemed that the road always called him back and that calling was stronger than any other.  During the first few years of Don and Robin’s marriage, he worked for various local trucking companies including Johnson Fuel Liners, Hlavka Excavation, Budmayr Trucking, Bradley Sodding, and Blackhawk Transport.  All along, his dream was to become an owner operator.

     Don began his career as an owner operator when he purchased a 1972 Kenworth cab-over in the mid 80’s and pulled a 53 foot bull rack.  He hauled livestock for a few years from South Dakota to Texas and beyond.  After tiring of the long hours without sleep he decided a career path change was needed and went to work pulling a flatbed.  As most young truck drivers did, he longed to own the ultimate rig, which for him was a long nose Peterbilt with a Cat engine.  On his quest for that goal, in 1990 he upgraded from the cab-over to a 1985 Autocar.  In 1993, he traded for a 1990 Pete.  Then in January of 1997 he traded for a brand new 1997 Peterbilt 379 with a 550 Cat, 18 speed transmission and 355 rears.  He had finally achieved his dream.  In June of that year, Don leased to Mercer Transportation in Louisville, KY, and finished his career with that company.  He pulled flatbed and hauled just about anything that could be hauled on a flatbed in all 48 contiguous United States and Canada.

     While Don was out soothing his wanderlust, Robin stayed in Sturgis and worked and took care of the children.  From time to time, he would make a trip with one of the kids and occasionally the whole family.  He always worried that he was gone too much and missed too many of the kids’ milestones and he tried hard to make up for that in the love that he shared with them when he was able to be home.  Ultimately, the children grew and became stronger by seeing the dedication and work ethic that their father showed them.  The time apart only proved to make the time together more important and the love stronger.

     After the children were all grown, and after 23 years of being apart a good share of the time, Don and Robin decided that it was time to get to know each other all over again.  In 1999, Robin attained her CDL learners permit so that she could learn to drive the Pete and go on the road with Don.  To do that, she would need some drive time to be able to pass the driving test for a valid CDL license.  In February of 2000, Don stopped in Sturgis and picked Robin up to go on a run with him to Seattle, WA.  On the evening of the 9th of February, while in downtown Seattle to unload the escalator that he was hauling, Don suffered a subarachnoid hemorrhage.  He spent the next 4 days in ICU at Harborview Medical Center, and 5 more days in the hospital.  After a month of physical therapy at home and grueling driving lessons teaching Robin to drive, he was back on the road by April 1st.  After that close call, Don and Robin spent the next 17 years on the road together running as a team on the longest adventure two people could imagine.  Don hauled his last load in May of 2017.  Early in June, he was diagnosed with a rare form of lymphoma.  He spent the next 9 months fighting for his life.  He passed away peacefully at his home in Sturgis on February 24, 2018.  In life he loved well.

     Don is survived by his wife, Robin; three daughters, Cherri Rolla (Conrad), Watford City, ND, Britany Mullen (Lee), Cisco, TX, and Amanda Gallipeau (Howard), Phoenix, AZ; and one son, Brian Lineback (Jill), Martinsville, IN.  He is also survived by two sisters, Debra Placey (Alan), Caldwell, ID, and Rhonda Hand (Ricky), Hermosa, SD; and one brother, Kevin (Tami), Powell, WY; six grandchildren; and one great-grandchild.

     Don was preceded in death by his parents; one sister, Vicki; and one brother, Scott.

     Memorial services will be 10:00 a.m. Saturday, March 17, 2018, at Kinkade Funeral Chapel in Sturgis, SD.

     Condolences may be sent to the family at www.kinkadefunerals.com.

Phone number: 605-347-4455
E-mail: info@kbhbradio.com
Address: 1612 Junction Avenue, Suite #1
Sturgis, SD 57785