Donald Charles Butzer, 93, of Catawba, passed away March 4, 2013. Donald was born in Reading, Pa., November 23, 1919. He was typical of the generation who some call "The Greatest Generation." Like many other young men during "The Great Depression," he joined The Civilian Conservation Corps and earned income to help support his family. He was stationed in Catoctin, Md., where he assisted in the construction of the presidential retreat for President Roosevelt, now known as Camp David. Donald was an outstanding baseball player and in 1940 he signed a professional baseball contract with the West Virginia Logan Indians where he was instrumental in helping them win the pennant that year. World War II cut his baseball career short. When war broke out, he volunteered as an airman with the United States Army Air Corps.
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Donald was a crew member of a B-24 Heavy Bomber stationed in England, assigned to the 8th Air Force. He flew 31 missions over France and Germany. The first mission was on D-Day June 6, 1944. He was awarded several decorations for valor and was awarded "The French Legion of Honor," by the French government for his participation in the liberation of France.
He embodied all the best qualities of his generation, served his country with honor, worked hard and raised a family who loved him. To sum it up: He led a good life!
Donald was a devoted husband, father and grandfather. He is survived by his wife of 66 years, Billie June Butzer; son, Donald Terry Butzer; daughter-in-law, Katrina Plumpis Butzer; and two granddaughters, Arianna and Eleni Butzer. Donald was preceded by his parents, Walter M. Butzer and Elsie D. Butzer; and four brothers.
Interment with full military honors will be 2 p.m. Friday, March 15, 2013, at Southwest Virginia Veterans Cemetery, 5550 Bagging Plant Road, Dublin.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorial contributions may be made to Voluntary Services Office, Building 12 Rm 9, Salem VA Hospital, 1970 Roanoke Boulevard, Salem, VA 24153. Online condolences may be made to the family at www.lotzfuneralhomeroanoke.com.
Arrangements by Lotz Funeral Home, Roanoke, 540-982-1001.
Published in Roanoke Times on March 10, 2013