Wood Carver, Volunteer, and Family Man
Rocky Flats Plant | 1962-1992 | Multi-Craft Foreman & Pipefitter
Cold War Patriots is delighted to introduce you to our April 2021 Everyday Patriot, Don D.!
After joining the Army Reserves right out of high school, Don spent 30 years of his life working at Rocky Flats in Colorado and has since been retired for close to 30 years. During his time at Rocky Flats, Don worked as a laborer, a chemical operator, material analyst, pipefitter, and a multi-craft foreman. Of all the positions he held, he said being a pipefitter was his favorite and the most rewarding. Despite the health conditions he developed from working at Rocky Flats, Don really enjoyed his years working at the plant and especially working with many amazing and inspiring people.
Following his retirement, Don has spent his years organizing a variety of retiree breakfasts for fellow nuclear weapons workers in the state of Colorado. When I asked: “What was your favorite memory of your 30 years working at Rocky Flats?”, he quickly answered without hesitation; ‘The People’! I met so many wonderful people and many that I still stay connected to and many who I go to breakfast with monthly. Don goes to 3 monthly retiree breakfasts regularly: The American Legion Rocky Flats Retiree Breakfast, with 100+ attendees regularly; the Longmont Retiree Breakfast, with 8-10 regular attendees monthly; and the Morning Story Café Retiree Breakfast, with 8-10 regular attendees monthly!
In addition, Don has spent over 20 years volunteering at the National Archives Research Association (NARA) where he helps others discover their family history. Don has spent years researching his own genealogy, he has 8 lines of descendants and he has completed books on 6 lines and is working on the writing of his final 2 lineage books!
Don is also an avid wood carver. He was a long-time member of the Louisville/Lafayette Carving Club, which is now disbanded. He sells his carvings in 2 local craft fairs annually. Don specializes in the carving of Old-World Santa’s and custom requests. In 2019 he sold 75 carving pieces.
Don stays busy and involved. He was the Treasurer for their HOA for 13 years and he currently still serves on their HOA Architectural Committee.
Don also enjoys spending time with his wife Jeanette, and their three children and six grandchildren. His hobbies include wood carving and researching his own genealogy. He loves helping others and continuing to stay as active as possible. Being a part of a local retiree breakfast group is something Don recommends for other workers so they can stay connected with former colleagues.
Don’s closing words and thoughts:
Stay active and keep doing what you like as long as you want.
Helping others gives you enjoyment.
If you worked at Rocky Flats, apply for your DOL Program White Card.