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IN MEMORY OF
DON ROHLA
ARIZONA TRAPPER


On February 27, 2016 Arizona and the trapping world lost a
dedicated trapper and friend. Donald L. Rohla of Chino Valley
peacefully passed away at home. Don was born February 19, 1939
to Louis Rohla and Edna (Parson) Rohla in Beatrice, Nebraska. He
was the oldest of his siblings and was the last to leave this short
time on earth.


Don was a career U.S. Air Force man serving our country for 21
long years. During this time he served two overseas tours, one in
Okinawa, Japan and another in Phan Rang, Vietnam during the
war. He was stationed at Luke Air Force Base in Arizona when he
took his retirement from the service. It was during this time that he
met Tom RickIe at that time an Arizona Game and Fish Wild life
Manager (Game Warden) and avid trapper. He taught Don to trap,
and this is where he found his passion. Tom and Don became close
friends and Don would take his month leave every year to trap
during the season. At the time of his retirement it was the fur boom
years and Don made his living supporting his family entirely from
trapping. When the boom ended he managed a Jerry's Restaurant
in Oregon, and then in two locations in the Phoenix area. He was
also a cabinet maker and worked for Timberlake Woodmark at Del
Webb as a supervisor. He also worked for Jim Schmidtt of Arizona
Ammunition doing custom re-Ioads. Jim later became a U.S.D.A.
Wildlife Service Trapper.


Even after the fur boom and in 1994 when trapping was banned
on public land in Arizona, Don continued to trap. He started
studying and perfecting the art of Cage trapping. In the year 2000
he moved to Chino Valley in Northern Arizona meeting new
challenges. There he became an expert on keeping traps working
during the Northern Arizona winters. Don was a current member
of Fur Takers of America (F.T.A.), he was a past member of the
National Trappers Association (N.T.A.), and had been active at
one time in the Arizona Trappers Association (A.T.A.) where he
served many years as treasurer and was certified to teach Trappers
Education. He was also a lifetime member of the National Rifle
Association (N.R.A.) and was active at one time with local
functions. Don was very civic minded and was elected and served
one term on the City Council of the City of Avondale, Arizona.


In 2006 when it became apparent that the current association was
serving personal agendas and not meeting the needs of trappers in
Arizona, Don and four other experienced trappers started the
Southwest Fur Harvesters Association. This organization is
Chapter 18-A of the Fur Takers of America (F.T.A.). Don served
as treasurer from it's inception until his passing. He was
instrumental in starting the Annual Youth Trappers Camp and held
an additional Trappers Camp every Fall on his own property in
Chino Valley. He especially had a place in his heart for young
beginning trappers and all first time trappers. Because of this he
also instituted the Loaners Program thru the S.W.F.H. for those
who could not afford first-time trapping equipment. He also taught
Trappers Ed.


On January 13,1996 Don married the love of his life Joan, who
enjoyed the trapping lifestyle he enjoyed so much. Don was all
about family and those close to him. He took care of his mother the
last (8) eight years of her life. Donald was an honest, loving,
caring, unselfish and giving man. He was a man of his word and
would not give "promises" he either said nothing or acted and did
what he said he would do.


In 2013 Don was diagnosed with lung cancer and the two bottom
lobes of his right lung were removed. Being on oxygen ever since
ended his actual participation of running a line. Though it did not
deter his interest and intrigue always keeping in touch and offering
advice when asked to by other trappers.


Don is survived by his wife Joan, 3 sons from his first wife;
James his oldest, JC (Robyn) and Donnie his youngest who was
always at the Arizona trapping functions with his father and his

grandsons, Liam and Daniel. He requested no services and
donated all his trapping equipment to the Southwest Fur Harvesters
targeted toward the youth trapper. In true Don Rohla fashion he
donated his body to science the remains to be cremated and
returned to the family.


Trapping truly was his life and passion and as Joan said, " He
would get so excited the night before the season started, he could
hardly sleep!" It is fitting Donald L. Rohla passed away the night
before the last day of the 2016 Arizona season, completing one more.


A memorial was held at the 2016 S.W.F.H. fall rendezvous for Don.

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