SAVANNA—Donald James Sites, loving husband, father and grandfather, and lifelong resident of Savanna, passed away Saturday, Sept. 26, 2020, at the age of 77. Don suffered a sudden stroke in August and was being cared for at Allure of Mount Carroll Nursing Home.

Friends may visit with the family at 1:30 p.m. with a Celebration of Life service at 2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 3, at the Savanna Bible Church, with the Rev. Mike Meyer officiating. Masks are required. The service will also be shared on a Law-Jones Facebook group.

Memorials may be made in Don's honor for Savanna Bible Church. Family and friends are invited to share in Don's life at

Don was born Nov. 19, 1942, in Clinton, Iowa, the eldest son of James Leslie and Marie Elsie (Doll) Sites. He was named after his cousin Donald Swingley. He grew up attending Savanna schools and graduated with the Class of 1961.

Like many Savanna graduates, Don started out working with the Milwaukee Railroad for two years and then in 1963 he enlisted in the United States Army, serving at Fort Knox, Ky., Fort Lee, Va., Fort Ord, Calif., and overseas for 1-1/2 years in Germany.

Once home from the Army, Don met his future wife, Susan Christensen, as they both attended community college in Clinton. They were married Sept. 8, 1967, in Savanna and raised seven children while celebrating 53 years of marriage. Don was a member of the Savanna Bible Church.

For many years, the Savanna community knew Don as the local cobbler. "Somebody was always handing him shoes," Susan would say, "even at the grocery store!" After a short stint as an Army Depot guard, Don purchased a shoe repair business in 1968 and served the public successfully for 20 years.

Whether he was fixing shoes or later helping customers at Times Theater, Radio Shack or Times Video, he loved talking and getting to know people. His entire family appreciated his faith, treasured his sense of humor, and could always tell when he was up to something. If he was visiting with others, it was guaranteed he would make a friend.

Don will be dearly missed by his wife, Susan, of Savanna; seven children, Elaine Sites of Schaumburg, Matthew (Angel) Sites of Port Richey, Fla., Elizabeth (Duane Chad) Sites-Tempel of Beloit, Wis., Rachel (Tyler) Schwarz of Rockford, Anne Sites of Chicago, Benjamin Sites of Morrison, and Karen Sites of Beloit; and one grandson, Ethan James Schwarz.

Don was preceded in death by both parents and a brother, Robert Sites.