Page 47 - Wallingford Magazine Issue 23, Summer 2019
P. 47

DONALD CURTIS – Promises Kept
Enlisting in the Navy, he completed training the Naval Submarine Training School in 1965. He ascended up the echelons, earning the rank of Lieutenant Commander. His outstanding leadership in the submarine service drew the at- tention of Admiral, Hyman G. Rickover, father of the nuclear navy, who offered Curtis his own command. After 11 years of active duty, 1963-74 (Vietnam era), he began a remarkable career at Hewlett-Packard (HP), 1974-2000. His star contin- ued to rise as he achieved at every position he held. He be- gan as a production engineer, and held managerial posts in Integrated Systems and Manufacturing Engineering. In 1983 Don became the General Manager for HP. Don’s record of civic consciousness achievement is as remarkable as are his professional accolades. Among his many acts of commu- nity caring include service on the Board of Directors for the American Red Cross, St. Alphonsus Regional Medical Cen- ter, United Way of Treasure Valley, Pacific Northwest Pollu- tion Prevention Resource Center, the Ada City Human Rights Task Force, and the Idaho Human Rights Task Force.
Upon graduation, Don entered the U.S. Air Force com- pleting his pilot training at Laughlin AFB in Del Rio, TX, gradu- ating third in his class. Assigned to an F-4C fighter aircraft, he completed two tours in Southeast Asia in 1966 and 1969, flying a United States military record 366 combat missions. Among his ten service medals and ribbons, Don was award- ed The Air Medal with 22 clusters, and the Distinguished Fly- ing Cross with one cluster. From 1970-1989, Don was a pilot for Eastern Airlines, flying several aircraft including the DC-9, Boeing 727 and 757 and the Airbus 300. A Boeing 727 instruc- tor and a leader in the Airlines Pilots Association, Don was the director of the Ground School at Comair Aviation Acad- emy and manager of pilot hiring. Throughout this time, Don continued to coach baseball and basketball, whether living in Connecticut, Florida or Long Island. He officiated basket- ball games in Connecticut and Florida on the high school and college levels, earning honorary and life membership of the International Association of Approved Basketball Officials (IAABO.) He is active in several church ministries including “Effective Fathers”.
At the conclusion of every high school graduation cer- emony, there is a sudden hush as all at once the chairs are empty and the stage is barren. All the members of the just graduated class will never be together again, despite the at- tempts at reunions in the years to come. Left in the wake is the memories of four years. Once in a great while, a few class- mates will emerge inextricably linked in the hearts and minds of their fellow classmates. No one in the class of 1959 (cel- ebrating its 60th anniversary) or the Town of Wallingford will be able to think of one without the other. Such is the legend of Donald Curtis and Donald Warzocha. Curtis lives in Idaho and Warzocha lives in Florida, but their legacy shall remain conjoined forever.

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