CANFIELD, Ohio (MyValleyTributes) – Donald Herbert Weikle of Canfield, Ohio, passed away peacefully on Thursday, April 20, 2023, following a brief illness.

Donald was born in Monroe County, West Virginia on September 24, 1930 and was the ninth of ten children born to Minnie Mabel and James Robinson Weikle.

He graduated from Union High School.

Don joined the Air Force hoping to combine his lifelong interest in aeronautics with service during the Korean War. He was assigned as a radio technician and worked closely with the pilots, navigators and communications team during his time in the service.

After honorable discharge from the Air Force, he attended Marshall College on the GI Bill, where he met his first wife, Carley Joan and began working towards a degree in electrical engineering. After being discharged from the hospital, he decided to complete the remainder of his engineering degree at Purdue University, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering (1959 – 1960).

After completing a couple of years at Marshall, he was struck with a serious airborne lung ailment. He was sent Oteen Veterans Administration hospital in Asheville, North Carolina once the doctors determined that the lung disease stemmed from his time in the Air Force at Davis (now Davis-Monthan) Air Force base in Tucson, Arizona. He was in the hospital for the better part of a year and proposed to Carley Joan when he was well again.

After marriage and graduation, Don worked for General Dynamics in California for a few years, then received an offer to work for NASA, which would enable him to work even more closely on projects for the emerging space program. After moving his growing family to Ohio for his dream job, Dad initially worked at NASA’s Plumbrook Station in Avery Ohio, testing rockets and rocket fuel, calibrating instrumentation and designing circuitry. He did some work directly on the Apollo, Gemini and Atlas series rockets and indirectly on many others. Eventually, the Plumbrook station closed and Dad was transferred to the larger Lewis Research Center near Cleveland, Ohio.

The family (which now included Mark, Amy and Wendy) continued to reside in Milan, Ohio near the original Plumbrook station. His first marriage ended in divorce after 24 years and he eventually moved to Canfield with his second wife, Joan, where he continued to reside after her death in 2004.

Don’s interest in space and aeronautics carried throughout his life, along with the love of his extended family. He was always happiest when outdoors, whether it was fishing with his brothers in Nagshead, North Carolina, working in his yard and garden, sitting on the deck birdwatching or walking the beach with a family member. He also loved to fly, earning his pilot’s license in the 1970s and joining a private flying club where he flew with family many times.

Survivors include a sister, Betty; brother, Louie; son, Mark Alan; daughters, Wendy Ellen and Amy Ann; stepdaughter, Katrina; grandchildren, Lindsay, Heather, Connor, James, Shea, Carley, Maddux, Luke and RJ and great-granddaughter, Frances.

Don was preceded in death by his parents and siblings, Frances, Tom, Elsie, Marie, Edgar “Bud”, James Pershing “Woods” and Robert “Bob”; as well as his first wife, Carley Joan (nee Ingram) and second wife, Joan DiGiuio (nee Ferry).

Family and friends may call from 5:00 – 7:00 p.m., Monday, April 24, 2023, at the Fox Funeral Home, 4700 Market Street, Boardman, Ohio.

A funeral service will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Tuesday, April 25, 2023, at the funeral home with burial to follow in Poland Riverside Cemetery with military honors.

Rest in Peace, Don and may you forever be in the wild blue yonder. Prosequor Alis

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Donald Herbert Weikle, please visit our floral store.

A television tribute will air Monday, April 24 at the following approximate times: 5:17 a.m. on WKBN, 8:39 a.m. on FOX, 5:21 p.m. on WYTV and 6:35 p.m. on MyYTV. Video will be posted here the day of airing.