April 8, 1925 - June 11, 2013
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Donald Louis Segel was born on April 8th, 1925 to Harry Segel and Jean Rosen in Cleveland, OH, where he, his two brothers and sister were raised. After graduating from Cleveland Heights High, he and his twin brother, Ronald, joined the Army, where they served with the 42nd Rainbow Division. In France, their platoon was captured just prior to the Battle of the Bulge. Miraculously, they survived to return to their family, who had relocated to Los Angeles during the war. There, Donald attended UCLA and received a Bachelor of Science in electrical engineering, leading to a career as a communications and computer expert in the defense industry. He was employed by Hughes, Rand Corporation and TRW Space & Missile Division, and helped develop many systems integral to the first digital computers and the Internet. In 1967, he married his beloved wife, Pearl, and settled in Pacific Palisades, where he was active in numerous organizations and charities, including the American Legion, Ex POWs, Nifty Fifties, Theater Palisades, Toastmasters, opera and symphony. Most notably, Donald remained a faithful member of the Rainbow Division, serving as president in 1991 and historian, attending national and international events for the rest of his life. Don and Pearl spent 42 wonderful years together, traveling the world and taking cruises with their family and friends - always making new friends along the way. When Donald lost his beloved wife in 2009, his nephew, Mitch, came to live with him, and together they combined and conquered many new worlds. On June 11th, 2013, Donald passed away peacefully at UCLA Santa Monica Medical Center at the age of 88. He was preceded in death by his brothers, Ronald and Richard Segel, and his sister Hortense Weller. He is survived by nieces Debbie, Grace, Brenda, Holly; nephews Mitch and Joe; in-laws Shirley and Stan Berko; and his many great-nieces and nephews.
Burial took place on June 14th, 2013 at the Home of Peace Memorial Park in Whittier, CA. Donations can be made in Donald's honor to the 42nd Rainbow Division. Donald will be greatly missed by his family and community, and remembered as a scholar and adventurer, and as a perpetually curious, good-humored, and loving husband, brother, uncle, and humanitarian.
Published in the Los Angeles Times on June 18, 2013