Donald McClellan Sheetz II passed away from a long illness Friday, Sept. 21, 2012.
On March 5, 1947, in Keyser, W. Va., he was born to Thelma Louise and the late Donald M Sheetz.
Don spent his childhood and early teens in Idaho Falls. After attending Bonneville High School, he bravely enlisted for military duty as a U.S. Marine. He served his first tour of duty in Vietnam in 1966. Don returned to Idaho after surviving a bullet wound to the chest and was awarded the Purple Heart.
Don attended college at Idaho State University, then reenlisted in the U.S. Army, where he learned to fly helicopters. He continued to serve his country for two more tours in Vietnam as a Cobra helicopter pilot in the 1st Calvary. There, he was awarded several medals, including the Bronze Star of Valor. He left the military in December 1976 with an honorable discharge.
Don loved flying, so he continued his career as a commercial helicopter pilot. While working as a Life Flight pilot, he met a flight nurse, Nora Kiker, the love of his life. Don and Nora married Nov. 30, 1978. Their marriage was filled with travel and adventure, working all over the States and abroad, which they enjoyed for 33 years.
As a talented pilot, he flew various jobs such as fertilizing trees, fighting forest fires, long line seismic work and flying survey crews mapping the Brooks Mountain Range in Alaska. He finished his career airlifting supplies to our troops in the Persian Gulf.
Don was a loving son, husband, father, grandfather, uncle and friend and will be missed by all who knew him.
Don is survived by his wife, Nora Sheetz; his children, Casandre, Donald and his wife Shannon, and Danyle Sheetz; and his beloved grandchildren. He is also survived by his mother, Thelma B Sheetz; his brothers and sisters, Donna Franklin, Judy Strand, Marvin, Kim Perry, Jamie Jones, Phillip, George, Dale and Todd and their families.
Services will be held at 3 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 6, at the Vietnam Memorial in Freeman Park in Idaho Falls. This will be followed by a celebration of life for family and friends.