Donald L. Wilson, 97, of Marion, OH, died Monday, July 5, 2021 peacefully at home with family. He was born February 2, 1924 in Washington Courthouse, the son of Harry and Katherine Wilson. When Don entered heaven, he was reunited with his beloved wife, Donna, and their cherished son, Donnie. He was a good man with a big heart, who never met a stranger.
He is preceded in death by his wife of 66 years, Donna; their son, Donald Jr., who they lost in a tragic car accident in 1965; his parents; his sister, Priscilla Stansbery; and his brother, Kenneth Wilson.
He is survived and loved by nieces and nephews and many loving friends that considered him family.
Don served in the US Navy from 1943 to 1946 as a Radioman-Gunner. He was on the aircraft carrier USS Kitkun Bay, flying missions over the Pacific in a torpedo bomber, the TBM Avenger. He was always grateful that he made it home when so many of his good friends did not.
Following WWII, he worked as an electrician before embarking on his career as a railroader. He started with the railroad in Marion and finished with Metro-North in NY. After retiring, Don was always helping others and doing volunteer community projects. He and Donna made wonderful memories traveling and seeing much of the country. Their license plate had their motto, LIV N LRN, which spoke of their great attitude and adventurous spirit. They treasured the many friends they made along the way. This was their passion until Donna’s health no longer permitted and Don took unfaltering, tender loving care of his wife. Well into his 90’s, he enjoyed traveling on family vacations and attending several Kitkun Bay reunions with his close friend.
In recent years, his involvement in Honor Flight, Genesis Church, Marion Senior Center, and his many close relationships have kept him very active.
As a WWII vet, Don has done several speaking engagements and received many accolades for his service, the most recent being honored with a flyover by his friends from the Lake Erie Warbirds. He has been overwhelmed by the kindness and gratitude that he’s received.
He had a wonderful sense of humor and enjoyed a good-natured banter. He could really dish it out, and he appreciated it if you could, too. He was a great storyteller and a great listener. Don was meticulous, inquisitive, stubborn, wonderful, and a Buckeye fan. Don left an impression and was so very loved.
Per Don’s wishes, visitation will be held at Boyd Funeral Home in Marion on Monday, July 12, 2021 from 4 pm to 7 pm with a small graveside service to be held on Monday, July 19, 2021 at 11am at the chapel in Brookdale Cemetery in Elyria, OH, with Pastor Keith Irey of Genesis Church of Marion officiating. Military honors will be conducted by the VFW Post #1079 of Elyria, Ohio at the cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, memorial tributes may be made to Honor Flight Columbus, PO Box 12036, Columbus, OH, 43212, or the Lake Erie Warbirds, 1366 Spring Hill Dr., Orrville, OH, 44667.
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