Donald E. Christopherson, 85, passed away peacefully surrounded by his loving family on February 25, 2019, in Phoenix after a valiant battle with cancer. He was preceded in death by his parents, Louis and Isabelle; his grandson, Garry Christopherson; and six brothers. He is survived by his wife, Donna; two sons, Barry and Erik; five daughters, Valerie (Phil), Melanie (Mark), Teri (Irv), JoLynda, and Amy (Tim); 17 grandchildren; 16 great-grandchildren; and his sister, Christine (nee Mary) Cerone.
Don, or Chris as he was known by many, joined the Navy in 1952 and trained as a metalsmith. He married Donna in 1955 and joined the Air Force in 1958. His entire AF career was at Vandenberg AFB, Calif., as a missile mechanic and he was quite proud that he served as part of the team that launched the first missile from Vandenberg. Upon his retirement in 1974 he moved his family to Placerville, Calif., and owned his own business, A&A Truck and Auto Repair. After selling that he was a truck driver for four years before retiring to Yuma, Ariz. He and Donna enjoyed several years of traveling before becoming camp hosts, a position he enjoyed very much. He was a devout Catholic and a fourth-degree Knight of Columbus.
A celebration of Don’s life will be on March 25 at 10 a.m. at St. John Neumann Catholic Church in Yuma, Ariz. His ashes will be interned on June 11 at St. Rose of Lima Catholic Church, Lewiston, Minn., where he was baptized and married. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to St. Jude’s Hospital.