Lt. Colonel Donald THOMASON
1924 - 2020
{ "" }
Share Lt.'s life story with friends and family
Send an Email
Or Copy this URL to Share
THOMASON, Lt. Colonel Donald (Age 95) On Saturday, July 25, 2020, Lt. Colonel Donald Thomason, passed away at the age of 95. Don was born on September 4, 1924 in Spokane, Washington to Hegbert and Caroline Thomason. Hegbert and Caroline moved to Spokane, WA to raise Don and his four older sisters. Growing up, he had a strong work ethic and was an example that hard work can accomplish anything. Coming out of the Great Depression, Don worked every day after school and all-day Saturday to save money and buy his first car. It was a 1930 Model A Ford convertible with a rumble seat and would begin his love for cars which continued his entire life. Don graduated from North Central High School in 1942 as one of very few high school students to own their own car. After attending one semester at Whitworth College, Don enlisted in the Army Air Corps in February of 1943 where he earned his Pilot wings and was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant on March 12th, 1944. At only 22 years old, his sister, Carol Louise, traveled all the way to Arizona from Spokane, Washington, on a long, crowded, and slow train during the war years just to pin on her brother's wings and 2nd Lieutenant bars. This is something Don was grateful for and would always remember. After graduating the Instructor Course at Randolph Field, TX, Don was immediately assigned to West Coast Flying Training Command where he served as an Instructor Pilot at an Air Base in Merced, CA. Don trained cadets in all phases of military flying until the end of World War II and was honorably discharged in October 1945. After the war, Don graduated from the University of Washington in 1949 with a bachelor's degree in Economics and Business and was a member of the Theta-Chi fraternity. Don worked for several companies as he continued his service in the Air Force Reserves and Washington Air National Guard. These companies include Inland Asphalt Co, Standard Oil Co, Continental Oil Co, and United Pacific Insurance. Don was a man of integrity and had a work ethic like no other. Don was called to Active Duty again from 1951-1953 where he served as an officer during the Korean War. During his time in Korea, he made frequent visits to Japan where he visited his sister Doris and family who lived in Tokyo. Don's nephew and niece remembered 'Uncle Don' working on "SECRET" projects late into the night during his time there. In 1972, Don finally retired as a Lieutenant Colonel in the United States Air Force after 28 years of honorable service. Don flew and instructed in multiple aircraft throughout his career to include the PT-13 Stearman, BT-13 Valiant, AT-6 Texan, P-51 Mustang, and F-84 Thunderjet. On July 28, 1962, he married the love of his life, Ortha Wormell Thomason, and raised his two daughters, Carol and Connie. Don retired in 1984 from United Pacific Insurance and remained active helping raise three grandchildren. In retirement, Don and Ortha loved camping in the mountains of the Pacific Northwest and Canada. They absolutely loved picking huckleberries, playing hearts, hiking, exploring, and sharing these experiences with family and friends. Don will forever be remembered for the life he lived. He was a hard worker, a man of intelligence and integrity, a man who had an intricate attention to detail, an always calm demeanor, and overall love of life and family. Don was preceded in death by his four sisters, daughter Carol, wife Ortha and niece Jackie Rider. He is survived by his daughter, Connie; his grandchildren, Adam, Aaron, and Alicia Jelinek; four great-grandchildren, Jared, Jorja, Carter, and Caroline Jelinek, and his nephews, Patrick, Harvey and Philip Jones, and Tom, Rich and David Bowie; and niece Georgine Winslett. A special thanks to Tristate Hospital, Evergreen Estates, Advanced Health Care and especially grandson Dr. Adam Jelinek for providing excellent loving care to Don over the past few years. A Special thanks to Alicia and Aaron Jelinek for their ongoing support during this difficult time. No service will be held at the request of the deceased. A celebration of life will take place next Spring. Memorial contributions may be made to the Union Gospel Mission or the Tristate Foundation.

To Plant Memorial Trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published in Spokesman-Review on Aug. 16, 2020.
Memories & Condolences
Not sure what to say?
0 entries
Invite others to add memories
Share to let others add their own memories and condolences