DONALD LEE (YENNI) WARREN
Born: Dec 18, 1940 Wichita Falls, Texas
Died July 11, 2004 Scottsdale, Arizona
At the age of ten, Don, his brother, Dale and his mother moved to Novato, California, where Don attended school. He played horns in the school band. At 16 he worked at Mare Island as a sail maker apprentice. He graduated from high school in 1958. While he was in high school he joined the Navy Reserve in submarines.
In June 1959 Don joined the Air Force and was sent to Russian language school at Indiana University. After completion of the eight month course he was sent to Rhein Main, Germany for one year, then to Adana, Turkey for another year. While in Germany, he met Patricia Applebee and married her a year later in 1962.
Don served at Omaha, Nebraska for four years, then in Alaska for 3 years. He then returned to Omaha for nine years, the last five serving in SAC Underground.
During his stay in Alaska, his two daughters were born, Heather Louise on November 10, 1967 and Lara Lynn on May 22, 1969.
Don learned to fly while in Omaha, finishing his training in Alaska. He flew fixed wing, single engine, land, multi engine, helicopters, and gliders and in 1990 learned to fly hot air balloons. He was chief flight instructor at Iowa Community College.
In 1979 Don retired from the Air Force and was hired as an instructor for the Japanese Airlines in Napa, California. He worked there for one and a half years before getting a job with the U.S. Postal Service. He started at the Oakland bulk mail center and later at the Antioch, California post office, for a total of 6 years.
In 1987 Don was hired by the FAA, the first two years as an air traffic controller. In 1989 he was transferred to the San Jose office as an inspector and late as Safety Program Manager. In January 2000 Don retired from the FAA and went to work for Rio Vista Ford for two years.
In January 2001 Don was hired at Simcom in Scottsdale, Arizona teaching aircraft systems and simulators, working there until his death. Don loved this job and was looking forward to again working full time.
In May 1989 Don started flight instructing at Rio Vista airport. Betty Hitt was one of his students. Following her husbandís death in 1994, Don and Betty were married July 13, 1996.
He loved flying and hot air balloons became his passion.
Don was diagnosed with stomach cancer in December, 2003. He underwent chemo therapy and was cured of the stomach cancer. However, the cancer cells had gotten into the spinal fluids and there was nothing that could be done. Don was not aware f the problem, as the cells had destroyed his reasoning. He died without pain and probably did not realize what was happening.
Don is survived by his wife, Betty, his mother, Nina Martin, brother, Dale Warren, daughters Heather Buchanan, Lara Lehmann, 3 stepchildren, 13 grandchildren and 3 great grandchildren.