Donald James Heronime

Sept. 17, 1931 – June 11, 2019

OVERBROOK — Donald James Heronime, Carbondale, died Tuesday, June 11, 2019, at Brookside Retirement Community, Overbrook. He was 87.

He was born Sept. 17, 1931, at Wichita, the son of Gus and Elizabeth Urban Heronime. He 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 six years.

His 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 Korean Service Medal with two bronze stars. He was also stationed at Warner Kaserne, Munich, Germany. During his time in Germany he sang in the 16th Infantry Ranger Chorus and ran the 400m hurdles and steeplechase on the Army track team, earning several medals. In Germany, he was also awarded the Army of Occupation Medal with the Germany clasp.
After he was honorably discharged in May 1957, at Fort Riley, he bought a farm in Osage County, starting a small dairy operation while working as a maintenance man at Stormont-Vail Hospital. It was while working at Stormont-Vail that he met Myrtle Kress.

He married Myrtle Kress January 26, 1963. She survies. Shortly after their marriage, he began working for Topeka Public Schools, where he continued for 34 years until his retirement.

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

Besides his wife of 56 years, he is survived by two sons Jim Heronime and wife, Heide, Phoenix, Ariz., and Neil Heronime and wife, Wendy, Atlanta, Ga.; two sisters, Betty Jean Dawkins, Freeport, Fla., and Valeria Afshar, Littleton, Colo.; and a brother, Paul Heronime, Carbondale; an adopted daughter and son-in-law, Sandi and Gary Pope, Vassar; four adopted 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.
His warmth and humor made a big positive impact on many lives in his extended family, Brookside Retirement Community and the community at large. He will be greatly missed.

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

Memorial contributions may be made to St. Patrick Catholic Church building fund and sent in care of Feltner Funeral Home, 818 Topeka Ave., Lyndon, KS 66451.

Condolences may be expressed at feltnerfuneralhome.com.

The Osage County Herald-Chronicle

The official newspaper of Osage County; the cities of Burlingame, Carbondale, Lyndon, Melvern, Olivet, Osage City, Overbrook, Quenemo and Scranton; Burlingame USD 454, Lyndon USD 421, Marais des Cygnes Valley USD 456, Osage City USD 420 and Santa Fe Trail USD 434.

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