Lt. Col. Donald W. Fagerstrom
Lieutenant Colonel Donald W. Fagerstrom of Chicopee, Massachusetts passed away on January 14, 2014, following his short battle with kidney and bone cancer. He had been a patient at Willimansett Center West since December 4, 2013.
Donald was born on October 11, 1924, in Egg Harbor, Wisconsin, to the late Waldemar and Hilda Fagerstrom of Sister Bay, WI. He graduated from Gilbraltar High School in 1942. A popular student, Don played football, basketball, and baseball for the Vikings. Don also played the coronet with the school's band and a local five piece boys' band and was a member of the Glee Club.
Following high school, Don drove for the Bay View bus company and met Mary LeClair. The couple married on October 23, 1945.
Donald entered the Air Force in 1945 and served until 1968. While in the Air Force, Don was stationed in Guam, California, Texas, Mississippi, Maine, and Massachusetts. His many positions in the military included air plane crew member and bombardier on B-52s and intelligence gathering. He was active in the Vietnam and Korean Wars. He enjoyed serving his country to the best of his ability.
Don was preceded in death by his parents, brothers, Erick, Rudy, Glen and Vinny; sisters, Ruth and Anna.
He is survived by his loving wife Mary (LeClair) of 66 years (10/48); daughters, Lynn, wife of Larry Bennis of Chicopee, MA and Nancy, wife of John O'Leary of Reading, PA; five grandchildren, Aaron Nugent, Ben and Molly Kwiatkowski, Chicopee, MA and Joseph and Jacquelyn O'Leary, Reading, PA. He is also survived by many nieces and nephews.
Donald worked as a residential and commercial insurance inspector from 1970 - 1985 after retiring the Air Force. He enjoyed taking on home remodeling projects, tending to his immaculate lawn, flowers and vegetable gardens, chopping wood for the winter fireplace, Friday night dinners in town and at the NCO club a Westover air Force Base. His attention to detail was unsurpassed. Don was an avid golfer who played the game well and passed on that love to his grandsons Ben and Joe. The Funeral Service were held at the Corridan Funeral Home, 333 Springfield St., Chicopee on Wednesday, January 22, 2014. The burial with Military Honors weas at the Massachusetts Veterans' Memorial Cemetery in Agawam. The family would like to express their many thanks to Donald's outstanding caregivers at Willimansett West. In lieu of flowers it is requested that contributions in Don's memory be made to the Disabled American Veterans Org.,VA Regional Office, Rm. 1575B, JFK Federal Bldg. Government Center, Boston, MA, 02203 or on-line at www.dav.org/Honor-the-Pledge.
Published in Door County Advocate on Feb. 8, 2014