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Donald W. APPLEGATE

APPLEGATE Donald W. Donald W. Applegate, our beloved patriarch, Born Feb. 19, 1922, in Toledo Ohio, "walked to God" on Sunday evening, April 29, 2012. A caring father, stepfather, grandfather, and great-grandfather showed us all how to live gently, gracefully, with integrity, and keen humor. Donald was preceded in death by parents, father, H. Wallace Applegate; mother, Ruth Milmine Applegate; siblings and a nephew. He is survived by loving wife, Dorothy Dugan Applegate; son, John (Joyce) Applegate, Jackson, MS; daughters, Martha Applegate, Santa Fe, NM, Anne (Tim) O'Brien, Toledo, OH; stepchildren, Lonn (Deb) Dugan, Sylvania, OH, Cynthia Dugan, Toledo, OH, Sherrie (Robert) Larkin, Indianapolis, IN, Jeannie (Leonard) Sanders, Bangor, MI; niece, Molly (Van) Merkle Heiner; nephew, Christopher Merkle; 18 grandchildren, and 7 great-grandchildren. Donald graduated from Scott High School in 1940 and attended Miami University prior to being drafted by the US Army as a private assigned to the 81st Infantry at Camp Rucker AL. He went on to Officer Candidate School at Fort Benning, GA, graduating as Second Lieutenant assigned to Ft McCullen, AL as an instructor. In 1944 he was assigned to 75th Infantry, Camp Breckenridge, KY, as weapons platoon leader of Co K, 289th regiment. Combat training commenced in England (Wales). In the fall of 1944 Donald entered WWII by crossing the English Channel to Holland. He led a successful attack against Hitler (in the Battle of the Bulge). Battlefield promotions to the rank of Captain and then Company Commander followed. Shrapnel wounds led to a brief stay in a Paris Hospital before returning to his unit. Following the war, Don stayed on to manage the liberation of several concentration camps. Decorations include the Silver Star, Distinguished Service Cross, Bronze Star, and Purple Heart. After WWII, Donald completed college at the American Institute of Foreign Trade at the National University of Mexico. He studied International Relations and Foreign Trade, earning a Master's degree in business. A banking career followed in International Business with National City Bank of N.Y. He worked and lived 3 years in Santiago, Chile with first wife, Barbara (Fredericks) Applegate (deceased). Donald returned to the United States in 1954, and founded Lucas Products Corporation when he purchased a struggling small business in Toledo in 1956. Donald served as entrepreneur and president until he retired in 1990. The company became a successful manufacturing business with a global market serving several industries. In 1960 Donald became chairman of Citizens for John F. Kennedy, where he met Adelaide Stevenson and received a personal invitation to attend the Kennedy Inauguration in 1961. He remained devoted to civic responsibility and politics throughout his life. In 1980 he married Dorothy (Robinson) Dugan, becoming Stepfather to Dorothy's four children. The couple were married for 32 years, sharing a love of art, music, and bird-watching, even traveling the world to pursue rare sightings. Donald was also an avid reader and champion of environment issues, supporting of the Sierra Club and the Nature Conservancy. He belonged to Toledo Naturalists Association for many years and served as Treasurer. Other memberships and groups supported included The Ohio Historical Society, The American Legion, and The Toledo Club (Book Club, Wednesday Nooners). In the last decade, Donald travelled to revisit WWII Battlefields. Later, his war experiences were catalogued in his own voice in the Library of Congress. His story is included in the publication, "What a Time it Was" (Fisher, 2011). A Toledo Blade article, "Veteran's Day: Aging veterans retell tales of WWII courage," (11/11/2010) featured quotations and a photo. In early 2011 he was honored by U.S. President, Barack Obama and Ohio Congresswoman, Marcy Kaptur for his distinguished service. Donald spent his last days at Hospice of Northwest Ohio, surrounded by family and friends. As visitors shared fond memories, it became more apparent how broadly he was loved, admired, and respected. Visitation will be Friday, May 11, 2012, from 6-8 p.m. at Sylvania United Church of Christ where Donald was a member for more than 30 years. On Saturday, May 12, 2012, a Memorial Service will be held from 11 a.m.-12 p.m. at the church. A light lunch will be served from 12-1 p.m. before a funeral procession commences to the Historic Woodlawn Cemetery, 1502 West Central Ave. Toledo, OH 43606 for the interment with military honors. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorial donations to Hospice of Northwest Ohio 30000 E. River Rd Perrysburg, OH 43551, Sylvania United Church of Christ 7240 Erie St. Sylvania, OH 43560, or Toledo Naturalist Association 19800 Sugar Creek Rd. Bowling Green, OH 43402. Arrangements made by Walker Funeral Home 419-841-2422. Condolences may be sent to the family at walkerfuneralhomes.com


Published in Toledo Blade from May 1 to May 6, 2012
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