Donald Leland Ismari obituary photo
 
In Memory of

Donald Leland Ismari

September 13, 1935 - January 5, 2018

Obituary


Donald Leland Ismari, at the age of 82, passed away on January 5, 2018, after suffering a stroke on January 2nd. He was at home with his wife, Kathryn. Several of his family members were also able to be with him during his last days.

Don was born on September 13, 1935, to Guy and Anita Ismari, and raised in the small town of Benld, IL. In 1957, he graduated from Parks Aeronautical College (St. Louis University). After marrying Kathryn, of Gillespie, IL he entered the Air Force in April 1958.

His 20-year...

Donald Leland Ismari, at the age of 82, passed away on January 5, 2018, after suffering a stroke on January 2nd. He was at home with his wife, Kathryn. Several of his family members were also able to be with him during his last days.

Don was born on September 13, 1935, to Guy and Anita Ismari, and raised in the small town of Benld, IL. In 1957, he graduated from Parks Aeronautical College (St. Louis University). After marrying Kathryn, of Gillespie, IL he entered the Air Force in April 1958.

His 20-year Air Force career began in San Antonio, TX as a first lieutenant, where he was selected for flight school. He received his fighter pilot wings, flew the F-86 and had their first child in Valdosta, GA.
Next stop was F-100 training at Nellis AFB, in Las Vegas, NV while the family lived in Victorville, CA where they had their second child. Their third child was born in Sweetwater, TX. Then the family moved to Gillespie while Don was assigned to Alaska for one year. When he returned, they moved back to George AFB, in Victorville, where their fourth child was born.

Don then moved his family to Wichita, KS and was assigned to Thailand. Upon his return, he moved the family to Phoenix, AZ and left for the Vietnam War where he flew the F-105 for 100 missions. After the war, he and the family moved to Nellis AFB where Don instructed young pilots in the F-105. He was then selected to attend Test Pilot School in Edwards AFB, CA. Next stop was Kirkland AFB in Albuquerque, NM followed by a year of War College in Montgomery, AL. From there Don was transferred to a Joint Studies & Analyst job at the Pentagon. His final assignment was back at Nellis AFB where he retired in April 1978.

After Don's retirement, he worked for BDM Corp. in Las Vegas, NV for 10 years developing war strategies and technologies. His final position was at SAIC Corp. in Albuquerque, NM for 10 years and rising to a VP before his final and third retirement. Don and Kathryn then moved back to Las Vegas to spend their retirement years and traveled the world together. Their favorite trips included China and Peru.
In March 2005, Don suffered a severely disabling stroke and a year later they moved to Roseville, CA.

Don was strong, courageous and fearless, as well as a craftsman. He loved flying so much that he built his own airplane and flew it for 20 years. He also loved the water and restored a wooden sailboat and built himself and his four children beautiful wooden kayaks. His favorite pastime in his retirement years was traveling across the U.S. with Kathryn in their RV, bike riding, hiking and reading. He passed down his love of the outdoors to his four children.

He will be dearly missed. Donations can be made to the Wounded Warrior at www.woundedwarriorproject.org