Donald was born in Rupert, Idaho on March 5, 1930 to Lewis LeRoy and Myrtle Kenner Lowder. His youth was spent on a family farm in View, Idaho. He loved his horse Goldie and dog Cougar. Don learned to work hard on the farm. After finishing chores, he would sneak away with his best friend and partner in crime of 67 years, Kerry Olsen, who was like a brother to him. Throughout their lives they enjoyed hunting, fishing, golfing, skiing, horseback riding, and later in life scuba diving. Don also taught his children the joys of these activities.
Don began his education in View, Idaho attending elementary school and finishing in Burley High School, graduating in 1948. After high school, Don married Lola Jean, later divorced. During the marriage, they adopted Alan and a few years later Lori. They were such a joy to Don and Lola Jean.
Don was a proud veteran of the United States military. At the beginning of the Korean War, he joined the United States Navy. He served two tours in the Navy from 1948-1953. His first tour was aboard the destroyer USS Wood. His second tour was on the USS Shields. Most of Don’s service was spent in Japan. During the bombardment of Hungman, Don took part in the rescuing of fellow Navy men when the USS Small struck a mine, which seriously damaged her bow. USS Shields Navy men rescued the boat’s personnel from the downed ship saving many lives. Don is the recipient of two battle stars for his Korean service, as well as the United Nations ribbon for service.
After returning from his military service, Don began working at Geneva Steel in Orem, Utah. It was while working at Geneva that he decided to use his GI bill to attend Brigham Young University and study mechanical engineering. He graduated in June of 1958 and began working with Sperry Utah building the Sargent missile where he worked for 6 years. He then worked for Boeing in Seattle, Washington. He returned to Utah working for the Department of Defense at Hill Air Force base in Ogden, Utah. He was an integral part of the Minute Man missile group being recognized for his contributions. While at Hill, he continued working on a team designing and developing weapons systems. He worked at “Hill Field” for 26 years retiring after with 30 years for Department of Defense.
Don has been greeted by his son Alan, his loving parents and five brothers and their wives who preceded him in death. Robert (Nelda), Richard (Helen), Eldon (Maxine), and Royal (Jean). He is survived by his daughter Lori, her spouse Mark, and his 3 grandchildren and their wives.
Don will be laid to rest in Morgan, Utah next to his wife of 10 years, Connie who preceded him in death in August 2001.
Graveside services will be held Saturday, May 1, 2021 at 10 am at South Morgan Cemetery, 350 South State Street, Morgan, UT.
Condolences and video of Graveside are at walker-mortuary.com
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