|A Funeral Service was held on Saturday, December 29th, in the First Baptist Church, 129 Lexington Street, Belmont, for Mr. Donald A. Micklay, of Waltham. Burial followed in Ridgelawn Cemetery in Watertown. Mr. Micklay died Monday, December 24, 2012 in Mount Auburn Hospital, Cambridge. He was 88. Don was born in South Boston on March 5, 1924, a son of the late Robert and Suzanna (Cain) Micklay. He was raised in South Boston where he graduated from South Boston High School. Right after graduation Don joined the United States Army and was assigned to the 26th Infantry Division, more commonly known as the Yankee Division. He was assigned as a sharpshooter with the unit's Company A, 101st Engineer Combat Battalion. Shortly after Don's arrival in Europe in late June, 1944 his unit was part of the Allied push from the French coast toward Germany. He took part in the battles of the Rhineland, Ardennes and Central Europe. It was during the Ardennes campaign, during December and January of 1944-45 and more infamously referred to as the Battle of the Bulge, that Don's Yankee Division was attached to General George S. Patton's Third Army. Patton's pivotal thrust to relieve the 101st Airborne Division, who stubbornly held the city of Bastogne, denied the Germans any hope of pushing the Allies back toward the coast and prolonging an end to the war. Just two months later, on March 19, 1945 Don found himself near Brotdorf, Germany as part of a ten man squad and under heavy attack by German forces. Don was awarded a Bronze Star for 'heroic achievement in connection with military operations' that day as he and the nine other men took on four enemy pill-boxes, destroying each of them, and taking six prisoners when the shooting stopped. In May of 1945, just before the war's end the 26th liberated the Gusen concentration camp in Austria along with the 11th Armored Division. Part of the Mauthausen-Gusen complex, one of the most brutal in the Nazi empire, they quickly discovered that the Germans had used forced labor in an elaborate tunnel system to produce aircraft. The quick movement and decisive action by the 26th Infantry and 11th Armored denied the plans of SS officers in charge of the facility to destroy the tunnels with all of the prisoners inside them before the arrival of American troops. After the war Don returned home to civilian life in South Boston where he went to work for the Boston Edison Company. He later earned degrees in electrical engineering and business administration from Northeastern University in Boston. Don's career also included working for the Sylvania Corporation and the Foxborough Company. He moved to Watertown in 1951 and then to Waltham more than thirty years ago. An accomplished chess player he was also a Mason and belonged to the former Victory Lodge, AF & AM in Watertown. He leaves his wife of sixty-six years, Barbara J. (Robinson) Micklay; his daughter Linda B. Micklay of Waltham; his sister, June L. Munro of Peabody and many nieces and nephews. Don was also the brother of the late Robert Micklay. Memorial donations may be made to First Baptist Church of Belmont, 129 Lexington Street, Belmont, MA 02478. To offer online condolences, please visit www.joycefuneralhome.com
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Published in Waltham News Tribune from Jan. 4 to Jan. 11, 2013
Joyce Funeral Home
245 Main Street Waltham, MA 02453