The family of Don Ault invites friends and family to a Celebration of Life Service at 1:30 p.m. Saturday, May 1, at the Claypool Lions Club Building, 201 Calhoun Street, Claypool.
Donald Ault, 92, Warsaw, passed away at 3:04 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 17, 2020 at Kosciusko Community Hospital of Warsaw at the age of 92.
Don was born on Aug. 15,1928, to Thomas Gola “Jake” Ault and Hazel Verona (Heflin) Ault in Summitville. Jake was a livestock dealer in the Midwest and Don, along with his brothers Tom and Joe, followed in their father’s footsteps. The family moved to Claypool, in 1942. Soon afterward Jake purchased the Claypool Livestock Sales within the city limits. This would become the family business for a number of years. Don attended the Claypool School where he met Martha Lee Neff. After Martha’s graduation from the Methodist Hospital Nursing Program in Indianapolis they were married in the Claypool Methodist Church on Nov. 7, 1948.
Don and Martha lived in Claypool and built a house on the west side of town. During this period, Jake passed away and Don continued to work at the family sale barn. He and Don Landis eventually purchased it from the family in 1953. The Claypool Sale Barn was well known throughout the northern Indiana, southern Michigan, and western Ohio farmers. The Sale Barn had the first authenticated scales that transformed the livestock sales from approximate price per head to price per pound.
The sales in this Claypool building grew to such volume that the facilities were quickly outgrown. Don and seven other investors formed a corporation and built the new Claypool Sale Barn on State Route 15 South between Claypool and Silver Lake. The first livestock auction in this facility was held in October 1957. This new facility also included the Steer Inn restaurant.
The new Sale Barn would become a focal point for Kosciusko County and others for the Friday night livestock sales and particularly for the post-high school basketball game gatherings at the Steer Inn. Many folks will remember the nights after a particularly close game to argue the finer points of Indiana basketball. At that time, Don was the primary livestock buyer for the sale barn driving over 80,000 miles a year to purchase cattle and horses for the sales, and brother Tom was the auctioneer.
Don left the Sale Barn in the early 1970’s to begin his own business and had great success as a livestock broker. He and his brother sold a majority of cattle to Burger Chef in the Tri-State area as well as many dairy cattle to South America to improve their genetics. Over the years Don continued to provide quality cattle and horse products to many farmers in the region, particularly to our Amish friends in Northern Indiana.
He will be lovingly remembered by his wife of 71 years, Martha Lee Ault, Warsaw; two sons: Douglas Lee (Janet) Ault, Warsaw; Donald Gregory (Cindy) Ault, Columbia, Md.; and his daughter: Jacquelyn Ault (Jon) Negus, Palatine, Ill. He also leaves behind six grandchildren, eleven great-grandchildren; and his sister: Wilma Jean Noggle, Carmel. He was preceded in death by his parents, two brothers, and one sister.
Donald’s life will be celebrated with a private family graveside service at Graceland Cemetery in Claypool, and officiated by Pastor Glenn Hall. A memorial service will be held at a later date. Arrangements were entrusted to Redpath-Fruth Funeral Home, 225 Argonne Road, Warsaw.
Memorial donations may be directed to the Animal Welfare League of Kosciusko County, 1048 S. 325 W., Pierceton, IN 46562; or to the Magical Meadows, 3386 E. 525 N., Warsaw, IN 465820 and would be appreciated by the family.
Online condolences may be sent through the funeral home’s website at www.redpathfruthfuneralhome.com