Donald “Don” Merle Wilfong, age 84, passed away peacefully in his Colorado Springs, Colorado home on 10 Oct 2021. Don was born on 26 April 1937 in San Francisco, CA to Hazel Juanita Bower and Kenneth Oscar Wilfong, although he spent his youth growing up in Myrtle Creek and Roseburg, Oregon. After attending Myrtle Creek High School, Don enlisted in the U.S. Army on 13 May 1955, at the age of 18, and retired on 30 Sep 1979. During his 20-year meritorious Army career, he received numerous achievement awards (20+) and medals, to include:
- Good Conduct Medal (4 Awards)
- Army Occupation Medal (1963, Berlin)
- National Defense Service Medal (1964)
- Vietnam Service Medal w/ 4 Bronze Service Stars (1968)
- Vietnam Campaign Medal (1969)
- Vietnam Cross of Gallantry (1969)
- Bronze Star (1968-1969, Vietnam)
His U. S. Army assignments included:
- Fort Lewis WA (Oct 1955 – May 1958) (Korea tour (Oct 1955 – Feb 1957),
- Fort Ord, CA (Sep 1962 – May 1963)
- Berlin Germany (Jun 1963 – Jun 1967),
- Fort Lewis WA (Jul 1967 – Jul 1969) (Vietnam tour (Jul 1968 – Jul 1969),
- Fort Gordon GA (Aug 1969 – Sep 1970),
- Monteith Barracks in Nurnberg Germany (Oct 1970 – Oct 1977),
- Fort Carson CO (Oct 1977 – Sep 1979). He retired 30 September 1979 and remained in CO for the remainder of his life.
While stationed in Berlin, Germany, Don met Christel Boddihn. They were married on 5 Jun 1964 and were together for the past 57 years. In 1977, they made their final home in Colorado Springs with Don retiring from the U.S. Army in 1979. Don first worked for Smith Brothers Electric (1980 – 1987) and eventually Blazer Electric / Rexel (1988-1999 / 1999-2003), always maintaining a second job at the same time which were either running the movie theater at Monteith Barracks while in Furth, Germany, cooking at the Black Angus or janitorial services in Colorado Springs. Don was a tireless worker until his final retirement in 2003. While at Smith Brothers Electric, he was able to enjoy training and working with his son wiring and trimming out residential homes. His son, Andy Wilfong, credits the work ethic instilled in him by his Dad, as well as his Mom, for facilitating his formation of Infinity Systems Engineering, a very successful DoD engineering company.
Don will be remembered as a loving Dad and husband, a hard worker and dedicated military man. He will also be remembered as always making jokes. When Don wasn’t working, he enjoyed spending time with his grandson Blake Wilfong, as well as cooking (especially making ribs and large breakfasts) playing cards, playing bingo and driving, whether the family car or as a truck driver.
He quite often took or picked up his grandson Blake from school while his son Andy was working. While in Germany, Don used to drive the family all over the German countryside to attend Volksmarches in various cities. In CO, many a trip was made to Cripple Creek, CO to enjoy the beautiful scenery and of course playing the slots.
Don was preceded in death by his parents (Oscar and Hazel), his sisters (Marie and Marietta), his brothers (Dennis and Darrell) and his son Donald. He is survived by his wife, Christel Wilfong of Colorado Springs, CO; his son (Andreas Wilfong) & daughter-in-law (Lisa Wilfong) of Colorado Springs, CO; his grandson (Blake Wilfong) and wife (Camille Wilfong) of St. Paul, TX; his daughter (Doris Wilfong) of Liberty Township, OH and his sister (Arletta Redlingshafer) of Coos Bay, OR.
A private committal service will be held on 27 October 2021 at 1pm at Pikes Peak National Cemetery with full military honors. In lieu of a public service, a video has been created for everyone to enjoy. A tree will also be planted in Don’s honor in the Pikes Peak National Forest.