Don Symonds

Wednesday, July 15, 2015 4:47 pm

Don Symonds, 90, of Decorah, died Wednesday, June 17, 2015, at Aase Haugen Senior Services, Decorah. A memorial service was at 7 p.m., Monday, June 22, at Schluter – Balik Funeral Home in Decorah, with Rev. Richard Simon Hanson officiating. Music was by Kathy Murray. Interment was at 9 a.m., Tuesday, June 23, at Phelps Cemetery, Decorah, with  military rites by Decorah veterans groups. Arrangements were handled by Schluter – Balik Funeral Home in Decorah.
Donald Dean Symonds was born Oct. 2, 1924, the son of Henry and Kate (Meyrick) Symonds in Decorah. Don graduated from Decorah High School in 1943, where he excelled playing football. He also attended Luther College. Don was drafted into World War II, and served as nose gunner on a B-17 Bomber, doing 13 missions from England to Germany. He was honorably discharged from the Army Air Force in 1945, after the military realized that he had two brothers die in the war. He returned to Decorah to work with his father, Hank, and his uncle, W.T. “Duff” Symonds in the greenhouse that his grandfather had established in 1876. He served as president of the Society of Iowa Florists in 1970. Don married Marian Ladwig in Harmony, Minn. in 1951. Don and Marian retired from the greenhouse in the early ‘80s. He also served as the Fifth Ward councilman for two terms. Don and Marian enjoyed traveling, gardening, camping, fishing, reading and country music. One of Don’s highlights of his life was being able to go on the Honor Flight to Washington, D.C. in 2009. He also enjoyed being able to sit in the nose gunner’s seat two years ago in a B-17 Bomber flight in Rochester, Minn. Don served on the Board of the Phelps Cemetery for many years and was a member of the Bernatz-Symonds American Legion Post No. 163.
Don is survived by his cousin, Judy (Ray) Kalec, Calmar, and her children: Jody Pettit, Portland, Ore.; Steve (Kim) Pettit, Lakeville, Minn. and Jennifer Robinson, Plymouth, Minn. and their families; one sister-in-law, Lillian Ladwig, Cresco; along with a host of cousins and relatives, as well as Marian’s special nieces and nephews.
Don was preceded in death by his parents, Henry and Kate Symonds; his wife, Marian (Ladwig) Symonds, Nov. 11, 2007; two brothers killed during World War ll, Henry Hugo and Robert Symonds; two sisters, Zoe (Reginald) Figge and Barbara Symonds in infancy.

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