Donald James Heronime, 87, Carbondale: Sept. 17, 1931 – June 11, 2019

CARBONDALE, Kan. – Donald James Heronime, 87, passed away on Tuesday, June 11, 2019, at Brookside Retirement Community, Overbrook, Kan. He was born Sept. 17, 1931, to Gus and Elizabeth Urban Heronime, in Wichita, Kan.

Don attended several schools through his youth, and graduated from Plevna High School in 1951. He joined the U.S. Army immediately thereafter at the age of 17 and served for six years.

Don’s army career began at Fort Benning, Ga., for his initial training. He served two combat tours in Korea as an infantryman during the Korean War, earning the Combat Infantryman Badge and the Korean Service Medal with two bronze stars. Don was also stationed at Warner Kaserne, Munich, Germany. During his time in Germany, he sang in the 16th Infantry Ranger Chorus. Also while stationed in Germany, Don ran the 400m hurdles and steeplechase on the Army track team, earning several medals. In Germany, Don was also awarded the Army of Occupation Medal with the Germany clasp.

After Don was honorably discharged in May 1957, at Fort Riley, Kan., he bought a farm in Osage County, Kansas, starting a small dairy operation while working as a maintenance man at Stormont-Vail Hospital.

It was while working at Stormont-Vail that Don met Myrtle Kress. They were married Jan. 26, 1963. Shortly after their marriage, Don began working for the Topeka Public Schools, where he continued for 34 years until his retirement.

Don and Myrt enjoyed many years as members of the Topeka Ballroom Dance Club and the Topeka German-American Club. Don was a long-time member of the St. Patrick Catholic Church, Scranton, Kan., and a lifetime member of the Topeka VFW. Don devoted many hours of service coaching and inspiring young athletes in the Carbondale, Kan., community. He was always there for the activities of his sons, nephews, and many of the youth that he adopted. Don also enjoyed singing in the Scranton community church choirs for local holiday celebrations. He also indulged his creative side with his extensive model train displays.

Don is survived by his family including his wife of 56 years, Myrt; sons, Jim and wife, Heide, of Phoenix, Ariz., and Neil and wife, Wendy, of Atlanta, Ga.; sisters, Betty Jean Dawkins, Freeport, Fla., and Valeria Afshar, Littleton, Colo.; brother, Paul Heronime, Carbondale; adopted daughter and son-in-law, Sandi and Gary Pope, Vassar, Kan.; four grandchildren, Ryan Pope, Brandon Pope and wife, Stefanie, Lisa Foiles and husband, Alex, and Darrell Hickel; and two great-grandchildren, Wyatt Pope and Matthew Foiles.

Don’s warmth and humor made a big positive impact on many lives in his extended family, the Brookside Retirement Community, and the community at large. He will be greatly missed.

Funeral mass will be at 10 a.m. Monday, June 17, at St. Patrick Catholic Church, Scranton. Family will receive friends at 9 a.m. and the congregation will pray the rosary at 9:30 a.m. Burial with military honors will be at the St. Patrick Catholic Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks memorial contributions be made to St. Patrick Catholic Church for the building fund, sent in care of Feltner Funeral Home, 818 Topeka Ave., Lyndon, KS 66451. Condolences can be left at feltnerfuneralhome.com.

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