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John B. Donat

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August 16, 1910 - May 4, 2015 John B Donat was born on August 16, 1910 in Sant'Angelo in Formis, Italy, emigrating to the United States in November 1914. He was educated in the public schools of Brooklyn, New York, and in September 1928 was accepted by the Cooper Union Night School of Science and Architecture from which, in June 1934, he was granted the degree of B.S. in Chem. Eng. with post-graduate studies there and at the N.Y.U. School of Pharmacy. While attending these schools he was employed as a store clerk and as a control chemist. While attending Cooper Union, he was active in the Newman Club where he met Vilma T. Kaffan, also a student in the School of Arts, and in June of 1936, they were married, enjoying the next 59 adventuresome years together until her death in July 1995. In December 1941, he designed, installed, and for the next 11 years supervised the operation of a chemical plant for the Manhattan Paste & Glue Co. Also, during this period he and his growing family resided in the Phipps Garden Apartments where, as the Acting Scoutmaster, he initiated activities for both the Cub Scout and the Boy Scout troops of the community. In July of 1952 he and his family re-located to California where he found employment with the San Bernardino Air Material Area (SBAMA), as an industrial engineer. He subsequently occupied a number of positions; i.e., Chief of the Materials and Process Branch, and chief of several Industrial Engineering Branches, and in 1960 became Chief of the Industrial and Plant Engineering Division for the Directorate of Maintenance, SBAMA, in which position he received an "Outstanding Performance Award". In the period of 1958 to 1963, he attended the University of Southern California, earning a degree of M.S. in Industrial Engineering. In addition, he completed the course of the American War College and additional courses in Operations Research and in Logistics Management. In 1965, upon the closing of SBAMA, he became chief of the Value Engineering Division of the Ballistic System Division, USAF, Deputy Chief of the Strategic Systems Division, USAF, chief of the Manufacturing Assessment Division, AFPRO, B-1 Program, North American-Rockwell, and finally chief of the Manufacturing Assessment Division of the Air Force Contract Maintenance Division, USAF, which, in 1972 was re-located to Kirtland AFB, Albuquerque, N.M. In this position he led teams of contract management personnel in the review of the contractor's operations that insured that they were being conducted in accordance with thier contract obligations. Also in this position he initiated the development of Mil. Std - 1528 that greatly improved the purchasing of manufacturing and repair services by the military services. He was been a member of the American Chemical Society, the Society of Chemical Engineers, Society of American Value Engineers, and the Society of Manufacturing Engineers, of which he was Treasurer and President of the Albuquerque Chapter. He is also a member of the Knights of Columbus, the Holy Name Society and the Nocturnal Adoration Society. Upon his retirement Vilma and he returned to Southern California to be near their family. He is survived by their children, Rv. Fr. Robert J. Donat, Valerie Gaffney, Neil and Mary Anne Donat (nee Cunningham), John R. and Ana Donat (nee Temprano), and by their grandchildren; Eric Shadden, Michelle Richardson, Neil, Paul Gregory, AnnaMarie, and MaryElisabeth Donat, and Ian Michael Donat. Funeral arrangements are pending
Published in the Los Angeles Times on May 19, 2015
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