Donald F. "Don" Gale, 46, of Akron, died peacefully Sunday, Feb. 12, 2006, at his residence following a three-year battle with colon cancer.
Donald Francis Gale was born July 15, 1959, in Akron, the son of Francis "Frenchy" and Mary (Burket) Gale. He was baptized and confirmed into the Christian faith at St. Patrick's Catholic Church in Akron. He attended school in Akron and graduated from Akron High School in 1978.
He enlisted in the United States Navy June 19, 1977, and joined the service in 1978, following his graduation. He served his country during the Iran Hostage Crisis. He also served in over 50 different countries during his tenure. He was honorably discharged Jan. 23, 1982. He joined the Iowa Air National Guard. Later, he owned and operated Gale Custom Corn Shelling from 1982 until 1985, when he went full-time with Air National Guard.
He was united in marriage to Lori Clarey on Aug. 11, 1984, at St. Patrick's Catholic Church in Akron. Together, they are the parents of two children, Michael and Catherine.
He worked as a Airframe repair specialist for the 185th Fighter Wing and most recently 185th Air Refueling Wing in Sioux City until his health did not allowed him to do so. For more than 29 years, he dedicated his time and well being to the United States military and received several medals and awards for his service.
He was longtime member of St. Patrick's Catholic Church in Akron. He was a member of the Knights of Columbus and the Hoschler American Legion Post 186 of Akron.
He enjoyed drawing, painting, model railroading, reading, and camping. But most of all, he was a loving father, husband, brother, and uncle. He enjoyed the times spent his family and friends, all of whom will cherish his memory forever.
Survivors include his wife of more than 21 years, Lori of Akron; two children: Michael Gale and his special friend, Sarah Williamson of Sioux City, and Catherine Gale of Akron; two sisters, Barbara Davis of Carrollton, Texas and Beverly Allen and her husband, Ralph of Florala, Ala.; his mother-in-law: Margie Clarey of Akron; and numerous beloved aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces, nephews, in-laws, and special friends.
He was preceded in death by his parents; paternal grandparents, Lawrence and Catherine Gale; maternal grandparents, LeRoy and Eunice Burket, Sr.; father-in-law, Thomas Clarey; uncles, Donald V. Gale, Joseph Gale, Orville Gale, Matthew Gale, LeRoy K. Burket, Jr., and Wilson Burket; and aunts, Agnes Gale and Marcella Pick.
Mass of Christian Burial will be 10:30 a.m. Thursday at St. Patrick's Catholic Church in Akron with Monsignor Richard Zenk celebrating. Burial will follow in St. Joseph's Cemetery in Akron, with military rites conducted by the 185th Air Refueling Wing Honor Guard and the Hoschler American Legion Post 186 in Akron. Visitation will be after 3 p.m. Wednesday with the family present after 5 p.m., a Scriptural eake service at 7:30 p.m., followed by a Knights of Columbus rosary, all at the church. The Carlsen Funeral Home - Schroeder Chapel is in charge of arrangements.
Casketbearers will be Justin Allen, Richard Raab, Richard Garbe, Ben Plooster, Brian Plooster, and Bruce Mitchell.
Honorary casketbearers will be Ralph Allen, Steve Foley, Mark Kapfer, Joe Georgenti, Frank Rickabaugh, Mark Foreman, Steve Ritchie, Jerry Jacobs, Jim Gale, Tom Clarey, Michelle Tingley, Elizabeth Flansburg, Brian Adams, Amy Jurgensen, Tim Welch, Matt Quackenbush, Angela Walker, Jed Gross, Ian Ortiz, and all beloved nieces, nephews, friends, and co-workers.
Condolences can be sent to the family at www.carlsenfuneralhome.com.