Donald E. Koonce (1931 - 2016)

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Donald E. "Don" Koonce, 84, of Vandalia, passed away at 6:16 a.m. on Tuesday, June 28, 2016, at Fayette County Hospital Long Term Care in Vandalia.
Services will be held at 2 p.m. on Thursday at Hohlt and File Funeral Home in Vandalia, with the Rev. Don Thomas officiating. Burial will be in Forbis Cemetery in rural Brownstown, with military rites accorded by Crawford-Hale American Legion Post 95 of Vandalia. Visitation will be held from noon until time of services on Thursday at the funeral home. Memorials: Emmanuel Methodist Church or Forbis Cemetery. Online condolences may be expressed at
Mr. Koonce was born on Oct. 12, 1931, in Brownstown, the son of Roy and Merena Ester (Jay) Koonce. He married Mary Louise Lofland, the love of his life, on April 14, 1950; she preceded him in death on April 21, 2009. The two had only one child live to adulthood.
Don was inducted into the U.S. Army on Feb. 12, 1952, and was assigned to the 931st Engineer Aviation Group. He served during the Korean War, and he received a number of awards – Bronze Service Star for summer-fall 1952 campaign, winter 1953 campaign and summer-fall 1953 campaign; United Nations Serice Medal; and National Defense Service Medal. He was honorably discharged from the Army at the rank of corporal on Nov. 12, 1953.
Don was a hard worker and provided for his family. Some of his jobs were working at Vandalia Bakery, hauling milk and working for Liberty Gas Station and Taylor Construction. He later owned and operated Koonce-Garrison Construction.
He was a member of the Emmanuel Methodist Church in rural Brownstown. He and his wife Mary enjoyed going to different churches to sing. Don wrote the lyrics to several religious songs that were recorded.
Don was a devoted husband, father and grandfather. He loved his whole family, church family and neighbors. He appreciated all the visitors who came to see him at Brookstone and Long Term Care; he especially enjoyed seeing his great grandson Brock, and about 4 weeks ago, he was able to see his newest great-grandson for the first time. He was so happy and had the biggest smile on his face.
Don will be missed by his family and friends, but God will have a good man in Heaven.
He is survived by his son, Jim Koonce and his wife Jackie of Carterville; granddaughter, Jamie Michele and her husband Michael Foster of Mt. Zion; great-grandsons, Brock and Jack Foster of Mt. Zion; brothers, Harold Koonce of Mendota, Bob Koonce of Gibson City and Keith Koonce of Litchfield; sisters, Dorothy Gerhart of Raymond, Aline Trulock of Raymond, Arlene Gerwolls of Monroe City, Ind., and Linda Sue Townsend of Vandalia.
He was preceded in death by his parents; wife; infant daughter, Patty; and brother, Bill.
Funeral Home
Hohlt & File Funeral Home Ltd
204 North Fourth Street
Vandalia, IL 62471
(618) 283-3434
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Published in The Leader-Union from June 28 to July 6, 2016
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