Donald W. Moreau Sr.
1928 - 2017
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Donald W. Moreau, Sr. - 1928-2017

One of the youngest members of the Greatest Generation, U.S. Army Col. (ret.) Donald W. Moreau, Sr., 89, died in his Center Point, Indiana, home on Wednesday, August 23, 2017, following a remarkable life that included a career devoted to military and public service, the love and steadfast partnership of two wonderful women, and the well-earned loyalty of an extended family and countless devoted friends. He was a genuine American hero who loved his family, God and country.

Don Moreau was a leap year baby, born February 29, 1928, and grew up in Vermont, which declared war on Germany prior to Pearl Harbor. His first enlistment in the Marine Corps at age 16 was thwarted by his father, but on his 17th birthday he enlisted in the Navy; through accelerated basic training, he was preparing for the invasion of Japan in the Philippines when the Japanese surrendered. Aboard his ship, he witnessed the formal surrender ceremonies in Tokyo Bay. He and his shipmates were ordered back to California, but they still had to endure countless kamikaze raids and mines. He mustered out and followed his high school basketball coach to a tiny college in Michigan, Adrian College, where he met Shirley Thompson. They married on June 5, 1948, two 20-year-olds. Before Shirley's death 44 years later, they raised two children, Suzanne (who predeceased Don) and Bill, and doted on five grandchildren: Suzanne's daughters Victoria (husband John Monfreda, sons William and James Hogston and Dalton Monfreda and daughters Anna Mae Hogston and Gigi Monfreda) and Stephene (husband Kevin VandenBrink, sons Sam and Benjamin and daughter Alia); and, Bill and his wife Ann's son Rashid Hallaway (wife Katie and daughters Barrett and Parker) and daughters Katie (husband Dan Boritt and sons Henry and Leo) and Elizabeth (husband Baxter Lusink and daughter-to-be Annie).In late 1948, Don was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in the U.S. Army, the product of a program to offer commissions to young men with good WW II records. This group of officers called themselves "mustangs" to distinguish them from West Point and ROTC graduates. When Don retired from the Army in 1973 as a Full Colonel, he was the last mustang on active duty. During his distinguished Army career he led troops throughout the U.S., Germany, Korea, and Vietnam, where he saw considerable combat, leading his commanding officer to conclude, "He was colorful and effective on the battlefield and frequently demonstrated bravery." "Colorful, effective and brave" were often used to describe Don, regardless of the mission or task.

Upon assignment to the Pentagon, he was promoted to Full Colonel at 41. He concluded his Army career in Fort Knox, with responsibility for the Armor branch's R&D. There, he successfully advocated against the development of an expensive, ineffective tank, earning the enmity of the entire defense establishment. His final commanding officer would write, "He is not a 'yes' man-[he] says what he thinks-but gets the job done efficiently and effectively." During his second career in Indiana state government, a succession of governors would reach the same conclusion.

When he retired from the military in 1973 -with almost 28 years credited service and just at age 45-Don had seen three wars, moved 22 times, and earned 34 decorations, including the Legion of Merit twice. He and Shirley moved to Hartford City, Indiana, to start a business with an old friend. When they sold the business, Don was called into service in Indiana state government, serving Governors Bowen, Orr and Bayh as director of, in succession, the Department of Commerce, State Student Assistance Commission, Indiana Toll Road Commission, Emergency Medical Services Commission, Department of Labor, Indiana State Fair and the Korean and Vietnam Wars Memorial Commission. Those three governors and successors O'Bannon, Kernan, Daniels, Pence and Holcomb each awarded Don a Sagamore of the Wabash, believed to be the most in Indiana history. In 2014, Don was named to the inaugural class of the Indiana Military Veterans Hall of Fame.

In 1993, he married the former Linda (Decker) Long, who brought into the family three children, Joe Dierdorf (wife Diane and son Joey); Dee Smiley (husband Doug and children Molly Tipton (husband Shaun and children Elle and Owen), Robert Smiley (children Everett and Olivia), and Emily Litz (husband Jason and children Ian and Eva)); and, Ann Hine (husband Brian and children Crystal, Madison and Cade). On October 11, they would have celebrated 24 years of marriage. They enjoyed spending time with family and friends, perusing auctions, traveling extensively and volunteering at the State Fair.

Don was a founder of the Hoosier Veterans Assistance Foundation (HVAF) in 1993 and HVAF's first CEO in 1998, which he ran with Linda at his side. Thanks to his efforts, thousands of Indiana veterans have been rescued from homelessness. After retiring as HVAF's CEO, he remained a leading supporter of the organization, and HVAF's Donald W. Moreau, Sr. Veterans House, which houses more than 30 formerly homeless veterans, is named in his honor.

At the age of 83, Don was elected to the first of two terms as a member of the Center Point Town Board. He served on the Clay County Sheriff's Merit Board for many years.

A calling will be held Sunday, August 27, 2017, 4-8 p.m. at Lawson-Miller Chapel, 1702 E. National Ave. (US40), Brazil, Indiana 47834. Don's funeral will be Monday, August 28, 2017, 11 a.m. at Center Point United Methodist Church, 200 S. Cherry St., Center Point, Indiana 47840. Lunch will follow the service.

A memorial honoring Don's military and public service career will be held Wednesday, September 27, 2017, at 4 p.m. in the Pershing Auditorium of the Indiana War Memorial, entrance at 51 E. Michigan Street, Indianapolis. A reception will follow.

Burial will be at Arlington National Cemetery with full military honors at a later date.

In lieu of flowers, please contribute to HVAF, 966 N. Pennsylvania Street, Indianapolis 46204, which will use the proceeds to maintain the Moreau House.

Don received outstanding, compassionate care from Dr. Prabhjot Pannu, his entire VA team and the world's finest cardiologist, Dr. Kirk Parr.

To Plant Memorial Trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published in The Indianapolis Star on Aug. 27, 2017.
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12 entries
August 26, 2018
My thoughts and prayers go out to Linda and Don's loving family. I had the distinct pleasure of serving as Don's Executive Secretary during his years as the Executive Director of the Indiana State Fair Commission. He was an amazing, mentor and a close friend. Don had a great sense of humor and admired his Senior Managers, staff, Commission members and ISF Board of Directors. Lucky man was he to have found two strong, special, loving women to share his life with. The passing of his wife, Shirley, was devastating to all and after several years Don eventually found a second love when he allowed Linda Long into his heart. We shared good times and not-so-good times and laughed at all the crazy things that happened while working at the Indiana State Fairgrounds!

With Deepest Sympathy
Nancy Tyner-Windisch
Nancy Tyner-Windisch
September 18, 2017
My Dear Linda:
I am so sorry to hear of Don's passing. I am sure you will miss your best Friend and love. I can see from the Obituary that you have so much love and support around you. Don was a hero to so so many and I remember the day you fell in love with him.
God Bless you and your entire family.
All My Love
Donna Butterworth Chandler
donna chandler
August 28, 2017
Don was a great man whom I had the pleasure of meeting when we celebrated his 80th birthday with a special party that raised money for HVAF of Indiana. You will be truly missed by all Hoosiers, whether they knew you or not. Thank you for your lifelong service. Prayers to the family.
Katherine Coble
August 26, 2017
Love and prayers to Bill and the family.
Donna and Charlie Belch
August 26, 2017
Don was a dear friend and mentor. I had the opportunity to work with him on the Vietnam and
Korean War Memorials that are found on the
North side of the Indiana War Memorial.

He was a great advocate for countless Veterans,
helping to get them back on their feet, and back
with their families when help was needed.

Don had a great sense of humor, and never met
a stranger. He was a great member of the
greatest generation, and I miss him.
Joe Kernan
August 26, 2017
Many good memories of He and Shirley when they lived in Hartford city! He was such a good person and a proud American, Thank you for all the things you have done for Indiana and the veterans. You did not go unnoticed! And once again as I told you before Thank you for serving our country!
sharon willman
August 25, 2017
He was a wonderful man and I worked for him when he was Director of the State Student Assistance Commission. May he Rest In Peace.

Sharon Miller Tabard
August 25, 2017
My condolences to the family. RIP Colonel. I learned a great deal under Don while at the Dept. of Labor.
Sonny Painter
August 25, 2017
Without a doubt the finest man I ever knew and worked for! My mentor, confidant and friend. Rest in peace Sir!
August 25, 2017
To the family of Donald W. Moreau Sr. May the love of family and friends comfort you. Blessed are they that mourned: for they shall be comforted.
August 25, 2017
I can still recall Don's deep voice and willingness to ask the tough questions when no one else would. He will be missed. My condolences to the family.
Steve DeMougin
August 24, 2017
He willtrulybe missed. He was an amazing man and our pleasure to have known him.
Danny and Carolyn Qualls
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