Donald "Dancin' Don" Sterner (1931 to 2012), long time resident of Ventura, died peacefully in his sleep surrounded by his loved ones on Sunday, October 21, after his battle with lung cancer. He was 81 years old.
Don was a legend on the dance floor who danced several nights a week with a group of beautiful women that playfully called themselves, "The Donnettes". If you've been to the Cowboy Palace, or any of the local country music venues, you may have noticed a charming gentleman wearing a slick black cowboy hat, belt buckle, and boots. His long white ponytail, warm smile, and ocean blue eyes gave one the immediate impression that this was a man of distinctive charm.
Don had a high sense of conviction for a healthy lifestyle and vast knowledge of nutrition. He loved God, the beauty in nature, life, and his fellow man. His positive attitude and peaceful disposition made him a great listener and friend to many regardless of lifestyle, political or spiritual beliefs.
If you enjoy dancing, laughing, being creative, and a joyful lifestyle, you may have been a friend of Don's. A machinist by trade who worked out of his shop in Ventura, Don engineered and manufactured parts for several space shuttles and airplanes, including doing work on the Gyro system that kept the very first satellite on course. He invented several efficient systems for manufacturing creating a lot of value for his clients.
Don also served in the U.S. Air Force in the 166th Tactical Fighter Squadron from 1950-1952 during the Korean War. He was a caring, loving, and compassionate father and wonderful grandfather.
Don is survived by his five children Joy, Sharon, Donna, Raymond, and Cheryl, and their spouses; grandchildren David, Dale, Justin, Lizzy, Virginia, Orlas, and Max; 13 great-grandchildren; his girlfriend Marietta, extended family, as well as his dear friends who he shared the dance floor with to the beat of a million songs. At Don's request, there will not be a funeral; rather, there will be a celebration of his life on Saturday, October 27. Don's favorite local band, Caught Red Handed, will be playing.