Donald Wayne McClurg

Donald Wayne McClurg, 95, died peacefully at Memorial Regional Hospital, April 3, 2013. He is survived by his daughter, Robin Taylor, Boulder, and son, Andrew McClurg, Memphis, and five grandchildren: Seth, Kelly, Douglas, Jr., Caitlin and Lauren. His son Douglas, predeceased him in 2002. Son of Lynn McClurg and Helma Moat McClurg, Don was born in Underwood, Iowa, Sept. 25, 1917. He graduated from the University of Iowa in 1941 with a finance degree, having worked his way through college playing saxophone in a dance band. His children called him the Forrest Gump of WWII because he was present at several defining moments in military history. As a gunnery officer on the destroyer USS Jeffers, Don participated in North Atlantic convoy escorts, operations in Sicily, the invasion of Normandy (where he received a Purple Heart), the invasion of Okinawa, and observed Japan's surrender in Tokyo Bay in 1945. His brother, Lynn Herrig McClurg, was killed during the war. Don married Helen Tulin in 1943, the mother of his three children. Following a divorce, he married Billie Wattenbarger in 1975. They lived together until her death in 2009. Don spent his civilian career as a sales executive for several paint manufacturers, while all three of his children grew up to be lawyers. He was an avid tennis player throughout his life. A gentle, humble man with a sharp mind and keen wit, he will be missed. He will be interred at the Florida National Cemetery in Bushnell, where his son, Douglas, a decorated Vietnam War veteran, is buried. Funeral services will be held at the cemetery 2 p.m. April 19.

Published in Sun-Sentinel on Apr. 10, 2013