May 24, 2013 - StaffDonald R. Hearth died Thursday, May 16, 2013, at his home in Lander. He was 86 years old.
Cremation has taken place, and per his request, there will be no services.
Donald Reed Hearth was born Sept. 29, 1926, in Dixon, S.D., the son of Emil Hearth and Anna Mae (Mahrt) Hearth. His family moved to Klamath Falls, Ore., when he was a young boy.
He enlisted in the Army in February 1944. He was a flight engineer and worked on B-29s during World War II. He served with the 13th Air Force, 20th Photo Combat Reconnaissance Squadron and earned the World War II Victory Medal and the Philippine Independence Ribbon.
He earned his diploma from Klamath Union High School in December 1946. He went on to earn an associate degree in aeronautical administration from the California Air College in January 1950.
He married Joanne L. (Brainard) Hearth on Nov. 27, 1949. They lived a long and happy life together until Mrs. Hearth's death in March 2012.
Mr. Hearth had a 27-year career with the Bell System. He retired in September 1982 from AT&T. His last assignment was reviewing operational procedures in all 19 operating companies within the Bell System. He was one of two men in the nation entrusted with this responsibility.
He was a member of the Grand Lodge Free and Accepted Masons of Nevada. He served as Master Mason in 1961. He was awarded a 50-year certificate and pin for his years of service just one week before his death.
His family said that in his younger years he enjoyed racing motorcycles. In 1954 he helped to form the "Polka Dots" Motorcycle club and was their first president. The club is still going strong today.
He enjoyed the outdoors and liked to fish and hunt. Bird hunting was his passion along with trap shooting. He was a life member of the Amateur Trapshooting Association of America. His family said he was a handy man by heart. He was always building, fixing or remodeling something, and his wisdom and talents will be greatly missed.
He is survived by his daughter, Donae Bezanson and son-in-law Richard Bezanson of Lander; grandchildren Kristopher Mindrum of Gillette, Darcey (Bezanson) Cowardin her husband Avery of Laramie and Jessica Bezanson of Reno, Nev.; great-grandchildren Brylee Mindrum of Riverton, Azlyn Mindrum of Riverton, Allen Cowardin of Laramie, Thomas Cowardin of Laramie and Jordy Cowardin of Laramie; brother Dick Hearth and his wife Nadine of Sacramento, Calif.; and sister Gloria Holmes of Yerington, Nev.
Memorials may be made to Amedisys Hospice, in care of Davis Funeral Home, 2203 W. Main St., Riverton, WY 82501.
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