WWII veteran, foreman
Nov. 3, 1921 - April 21, 2016
Donavan Elsworth Wasson, a World War II veteran and retired foreman for Blaw Knox Co., died April 21 at home on Grand Island. He was 94.
Mr. Wasson was born in Mille Lacs County, Minnesota, and completed coursework at Hawthorne Vocational School. He became a welder at Blaw Knox Co. in Mora, Minnesota.
He was drafted and entered service in August of 1942, where he spent two years in the 772nd Tank Destroyer Battalion in Ft. Leonard Wood, Missouri. He later volunteered to join the 503rd Parachute Regimental Combat Team. Mr. Wasson served in the Battle of Corregidor. His most prominent honors include the Good Conduct Medal Distinguished Unit Badge, American Theater Service Medal, Asiatic-Pacific Theater Service Medal, and Philippine Liberation Ribbon with two Bronze Stars. He was also on guard when Gen. Douglas MacArthur returned to Corregidor to raise the American flag. Mr. Wasson was a proud veteran and enjoyed telling his stories from the war and his days in service.
He met his wife, Anite (Kunde), after returning home to Mora. They were married on June 14, 1947, and together raised five children. Mr. Wasson work for Blaw Knox Co. until 1960. He also spent some time working as a sales representative for Air Power Equipment Corp. and Lutheran Brotherhood Insurance Co. In 1964, he returned to Blaw Knox Co. as general foreman when the company moved its dairy equipment division to Buffalo. Anita and their five children joined him on Grand Island in 1965.
Mr. Wasson retired in October 1986. Throughout his life, he was an avid sportsman and enjoyed hunting and fishing. He also maintained his membership at the American Legion Post 201 in Mora for 70 years. After retirement, he became involved with woodworking and had many of his projects sold at local craft shows. As a member of the Calvary Lutheran Church in Mora, he served as president of the church council. Also, he served on the church council when his family joined St. Timothy Lutheran Church on Grand Island.
Donavan was a loving man, dedicated husband, father, grandfather, and great-grandfather. Having his family together made him the happiest. He is predeceased by his sisters, Ruth (Duane) and Elaine (Everett), and his parents, Elmo and Bertha Wasson. Donavan is survived by Anita, his loving wife of 68 years; their five children: John, Michael (Cheryl), Don, Kathy (Tim) Fowler, and Robert; their grandchildren Marisa (Ricky) Lucas, Sarah, Michelle (John) Mesmer, Matthew, Daniel (Shawn) Jordan, Colton Fowler, Elisabeth, Brittany, Aaron; and their great-grandchildren Lennon, Haylie and Ella.
A celebration of life service to be held at 11 a.m. Saturday at St. Timothy Evangelical Lutheran Church on Staley Road.