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Franklin Don


1923 - 2016 Obituary Condolences
Franklin Don Obituary
Don, Franklin
Franklin Don, WWII Veteran and long time businessman, passed away peacefully on the morning of May 24, 2016 at age 93. Franklin was born in Casa Grande, Arizona on January 29, 1923. He was the eldest grandson of Casa Grande pioneer Sing Don, who settled in Casa Grande in 1896. He is survived by his wife of 67 years, Ethel, son Perry and his wife Rosie, son Kenton and his wife Claire, grandsons Christopher and Eric, brother James Don, and sisters Fay Don and Fanny Chew, and many nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by parents June and Oi Shau Don, son Franklin Don, Jr., sisters Lillian Jow, Nancy Lew, and Shirley Ann Don, and brothers Cleveland Don and John Don. Franklin, a graduate of Casa Grande High School, had played quarterback and captained the football team. In 1942 he entered the Air Force and during his military training won several awards for marksmanship and subsequently was assigned as a ball turret gunner in a B17 bomber during WWII. Sergeant Franklin Don was stationed in England and flew 28 missions over occupied Europe. From the air, he took part in the Normandy Invasion on D-Day and the battle for the liberation of France. France honored him with their "Certificate of Thanks." For service to his country he received the European-African-Middle Eastern Theater Campaign Medal with two Bronze Stars and was awarded the Air Medal, Oak Leaf Clusters, and the Distinguished Flying Cross. After completing his tour of duty, Franklin returned to his beloved Casa Grande, where he managed the family grocery store, Don Market, until retiring in 1986, and focused his life around his family and friends. He loved fishing, hunting and the outdoors. For many years, Franklin was an active member of the Rotary Club, Historical Society, the Presbyterian Church, Veterans of Foreign Wars, and American Legion. He was a caring member of the community and touched many lives throughout the years. He will be missed by all who knew him. A visitation will be held on Saturday, June 4, 2016 at 9:00 a.m., with funeral service following at 10:00 a.m. at J. Warren Cole & Maud Gardens Chapel, 525 North Peart Road, Casa Grande. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the 1st Presbyterian Church of Casa Grande and the Casa Grande Valley Historical Society.
Published in The Arizona Republic on May 29, 2016
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