Donald Eugene Pihl, 84, passed away on Wednesday, April 15th at home following a long illness. Donald was born to Ernest and Marion Jean Pihl on August 27, 1935 in Davis Junction.
He was raised on the family farm with his five younger brothers and sisters: Douglas, Dean, Marion, Joyce and Betsy. In his teens he enjoyed making extra money by raising and selling chickens and ducks as well as working as a pinsetter in the local bowling alley. He often fondly recalled the pranks he would play on his younger brothers and sisters during their childhood.
After high school, Donald enlisted in the United States Marine Corps where he excelled in the emerging field of electronics; rising through the enlisted ranks to become a commissioned officer and retiring after 22 years in 1975 as a First Lieutenant. He often recalled his pride of serving on the USS Boxer and his tours of duty in Vietnam. His patriotism extended to encouraging his children and grandchildren to serve their country in the military as well, many of whom did as they were inspired by his example. Donald enjoyed collecting stamps, reading science fiction, playing games, trains and his family.
Donald was a member of Alcoholics Anonymous since 1975 and was proud of his 46 years of sobriety. Over the course of these years, he helped numerous individuals suffering from alcoholism turn their lives around. Donald was a strong Christian who was a member of Holy Cross Lutheran Church where he often volunteered, always wanting to help others less fortunate than him.
He was preceded in death by his loving wife of 36 years Sylvia, his parents, his siblings Douglas and Joyce and his stepson Samuel Heistman.
Those remaining to cherish his memory is his children Velma (Ken) Wycoff, Gunner Pihl, Carl (Tammy) Pihl, Richard Barnhart Heistman, Eleata Pettigrass, Sandra (Alan) Schranz, 15 grandchildren, 19 great grandchildren, two great-great grandsons, daughter in law Sandy Heistman and numerous extended family and many friends.
Funeral services will be conducted for Donald and his remains will be interred in the family
funeral plot near where he grew up in Illinois during Summer 2020.