Donald W. Mullett, brother of Doris M. Cronk of Laurel Woods, East Haven (formerly of North Haven), CT and Irene M. Whitaker Reed of Irvington, VA, died peacefully in his sleep on February 1, 2013 at his Fair Haven family home where he lived since childhood. Born March 12, 1916, he would have been 97 years of age in a few weeks. He was predeceased by his parents, George Burnam Mullett and Florence Albina Lachapelle Mullett, and other siblings listed here in birth order: Everett, Bernice May, Roy Bernard, Earl, Warren Sumner, (Donald W.), Ruth Florence, and Irving Westal. Donald was also preceded in death by his wife of thirty years, Dorothy Doolittle Babcock Mullett, with whom he shared step children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. Don Mullett will be remembered for his tireless contributions and volunteer work in recent past at the American Legion Post 83 of Branford and the VA Hospital. Up until very recently, he baked cookies and sold them at the monthly bake sale to raise funds for his other passion in life, the National Veterans Golden Age Games. Each year, he trained rigorously in preparation for competition as if he was representing his country in the Olympic Games, replacing his knees, hips and shoulders as needed. He won over fifty gold, silver and bronze medals for everything from swimming to table tennis and shuffleboard, as well as overall "Most Inspirational Athlete" - all which he displayed proudly in his home. No stranger to sports, among other activity, Mr. Mullett played hardball for 48 years, ice skated until 2005, played state amateur hockey for seven, and competed in the cross harbor swim from Savin Rock to Lighthouse in 1935 placing 28th of 124. With his late wife, he taught all forms of ballroom dance twice a week and continued until he was 90 years old. He grew his own vegetables in his large backyard garden. Above all, he was defined by his proud service to his country as an Army Air Corp combat veteran of the Second World War. During the attack on Pearl Harbor, he was on mounted Horse Cavalry at Ft. Riley, Kansas then got the order to ship out. On the USS President Tyler, he went through the Panama Canal with destination Bora Bora, received training on ship, then later on to Guadalcanal assigned to the 695th Signal Aircraft Warning Company of 150 men. While his three brothers fought in the European theater, he helped build roads, air fields and radar sites while taking cover from bombs dropped on his location. He monitored radar, and is credited for saving lives by pinpointing location of the injured and downed. Later his outfit became the 13th Air Force and he went on to New Guinea. Don Mullett was a patriot and athlete, and will live on as an inspiration for us all on how to live life to the fullest without regard to age or physical limitation. Funeral service will be held Thursday morning at 11:00 in the Clancy Funeral Home,43 Kirkham Ave.,East Haven. Burial with military honors will follow in East Lawn Cemetery. Friends may call Thursday morning prior to the service from 10:00 - 11:00. Memorial contributions may be made to American Legion Post # 83,243 N. Main St.,Branford,CT 06405. www.clancyfuneralhome.com
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Published in New Haven Register on Feb. 3, 2013