Donald “Donnie” Curtis Ogletree, 68, formerly of Buford, Georgia and Tampa Florida, passed away Tuesday, September 21, 2021, at the Colorado Springs home of his family and caregivers’ brother David Thomas Ogletree, and sister-in-law Adele Ogletree. After his father’s passing in 2004, Donnie continued to live with his mother in Buford GA, briefly in Lawrenceville GA, and then in 2014, they moved together to Colorado Springs to be near David and Adele. Donnie began to live full-time with his brother in March 2018, and his mother passed away in May 2018.
Donnie was born July 12, 1953, in Washington D.C. to Thomas Watson and Anna Margaret (Williams) Ogletree. He joined his “Big Brother Dave” and made the family complete. Donnie was a special person with Down syndrome and while he had unique needs in his everyday life, he always enjoyed every day and lived his life with evident self-assurance.
The Ogletree family of four moved to Tampa, Florida in 1957, where Donnie’s father Tom began work for the Tampa Police Department, and then the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s office. In 1986, Tom, Margaret, and Donnie moved to Buford, Georgia where they resided together. Donnie was an active member of the special needs ministry at 1st Baptist Church of Snellville (nka Church on Main) for many years, and could often be found as an official greeter at the church entrance on Sunday mornings. Donnie was an active participant in Special Olympics as a child and an adult.
His favorite sport was bowling, and he was part of a weekly league until 2014. His high game was 212, and he always remembered that score along with his memorable trip to Baton Rouge, Louisiana for a Special Olympics competition. He enjoyed his participation in the programs at Creative Enterprises in Lawrenceville for 27 years. He was a specialist in putting small boxes together and held that job at Creative Enterprises for many years. His collection of 700 t-shirts told the story of his life, as they represented places, people, and activities he experienced and remembered. Donnie loved his extended family, making special connections with all. He had life-long best friends, whom he greeted with “Hello Pal!”
In Colorado Springs, he enjoyed time with new friends at Mosaic; a day program that took him out into the community. His favorite day was Friday – that was bowling day. Until the pandemic shut the program down, he attended 5 days a week.
His smile lit up a room and when he met you, that smile and a friendly handshake was his first thing to do along with an introduction: “my name is Donnie Ogletree”.
Donald Curtis is survived by his brother David Thomas Ogletree and sister-in-law Adele Ogletree, of Colorado Springs, Colorado; nephews Dave Ogletree of Portland, Oregon, and John Ogletree of Welches, Oregon; niece Maj. Brittany Morton, USAF and grand-niece Cheyenne; uncles and a great number of cousins.