DISTIN, D. Donald (Don), 81, of Avon Park, FL, was called home to the Lord in the early morning hours of June 6, 2014. He died at home with family by his side. Don grew up and spent most of his life in Fulton, NY. He served his county as a Staff Sergeant in the US Army. During his deployment in Germany, the Army discovered he was a talented football player, and he became the Captain of the 6th Armored Cavalry In 1952. His team won the European championship. Don was also trainer for the 6th Armored Cavalry boxing team. He later returned to the United States to marry his high school sweetheart, Carolyn Palmer, in 1954. Don and Carolyn were married over 50 years and raised 4 children in the Fulton Community. Don received his BS and MS degrees in education, as well as permanent certification as Director of Health and Physical Education, from lthaca College. He earned his Administrative and Supervision Certificate from SUNY Oswego. He was initially hired as a Social Studies teacher and Head Football Coach at Fulton High School, and is credited with starting the wrestling team in Fulton in 1959. In 1962, he became Director of Athletics and taught Physical Education. Three years later, he was promoted to Administrator of Health, Physical Education and Recreation for the Fulton City School District. Don was on the original organizing committee of the New York State Athletic Administrators Association (NYSAAA) in 1981, and was recently honored as an inductee into the NYSAAA Hall of Fame in March 2014. Upon his retirement, the new Fulton Athletic Complex was dedicated in his honor. Don was a devoted husband and father, a dedicated educator and coach, and also a man of great faith. He was an Elder in churches where he served in both in Fulton and Sebring, and volunteered in both of these communities. He acted as Chairman of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes for the Syracuse area for 5 years. Upon his retirement, Don and Carolyn moved to Florida. After Carolyn's passing in 2006, Don married Judy Harris and they shared seven happy years together. Don will be lovingly remembered by his wife, Judy; his children, Sherman (Michelle) Distin, Susan (Ron) McFarland, Mary (James) Earley and Mark (Reenfe) Distin; and his brothers Sam (Marlene) Distin and Milton (Sue) Distin. He was deeply loved and will be remembered by Judy's children and their families. He will also be remembered fondly by his many grandchildren, great-grandchildren, nieces, nephews, former students, coaches and athletes. A celebration of Don's life will be held on June 12, 2014 at 11 a.m. at the Fulton Alllance Church, 1044 New York48, Fulton, NY 13069. A Memorial service will also be held in Sebring, FL, at the Covenant Presbyterian Church, 4500 Sun 'n Lake Blvd., on June 24, 2014 at 11 a.m. In lieu of flowers, contrib-utions may be made to: Meals on Wheels P.O. Box 1643 Avon Park, FL 33826 Phone: (863) 257-1780 http://www.meaIsonwheelsap.org/ Good Shepherd Hospice 4002 Sun N Lake Blvd. Sebring, FL 33872 Phone: (888) 720-8076 http://chaptersheaIth.org/ Services/Hospice Cremation Arrangements entrusted to: Stephenson-Nelson Funeral Home Sebring, Florida www.stephensonnelsonfh. com
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Stephenson-Nelson Funeral Home
4001 Sebring Parkway
Sebring, FL 33870-1681
Published in the Tampa Bay Times on June 8, 2014