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Dec 27, 2022 (0)
Donald Phillip Chohon, 89, of O'Neill, died Friday, Dec. 23, 2022 at the Country Lane Retirement Village in O'Neill with his family by his side.
Visitation will be held from 5-7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 30, 2023 at Biglin's Mortuary in O'Neill with a parish rosary at 7 p.m.
Funeral services will be held at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 31, 2022 at St. Patrick's Catholic Church in O'Neill. Fr. Bernard Starman will officiate.
Pallbearers are Don's 11 grandsons Brock Chohon, Duke Chohon, Dustin Chohon, Eric Chohon, Clay Chohon, Hayes Chohon, Tyson Chohon, Aaron Chohon, Riley Chohon, Derek Martin and Jess Martin.
Honorary pallbearers are his four granddaughters Jamie Wheelahan, Britt Lorenz, Jenna Dvorak and Molly Krotter; a special group of friends from the AA chapters from all over where he was labeled as the godfather; and his private drivers Dick Grosch, Jack Hurley and Lawrence Reynoldson.
Burial will be in the O'Neill Cemetery in O'Neill with military rites provided by the O'Neill American Legion Simonson Post 93.
Memorials may be made to the family for future designation.
Donald was born Aug. 22, 1933 to Leo and Mary (Zegar) Chohon at St. Bernard. Don grew up in the Silver Creek area, where he graduated from Silver Creek High School in 1950.
During the Korean War, Don joined the U.S. Air Force on May 27, 1952 serving four years. He trained as a flight engineer/gunner on B-29 bombers. After the war he was sent to Palm Beach AFB in Florida where his crew began to train pilots and engineers as hurricane hunters. Don was honorably discharged on May 26, 1956.
Don married Helen Sock on Jan 4, 1954, to this union six children were born. They lived in Palm Beach, FL until his discharge when they moved home to Silver Creek and farmed there for 13 years. In January 1969, Don moved his family to O'Neill where he became very active developing pivot irrigated farms selling pivots and other ag related businesses. The couple divorced in 1986.
On Jan 29, 1989 Don married Kaye Scott from Leoti, KS. They continued to live in O'Neill after their retirements. They wintered in Arizona for several years then settled down in O'Neill.
Don loved his business ventures, flying, golfing, dancing to polka music, morning coffee talk and helping people when he could.
In 1995, Don joined the Commemorative Air Force which is a flying museum of old military aircraft. Don became very active and toured the US with “FIFI,” the only B-29 that is still flying today. On Sept 16, 2002, Don led a group of old B-29/B-24 Bombers buzzing over O'Neill to exhibit and to remember the past history. They dismissed area schools so all could watch the event.
Don is survived by his six children Ken (Becky) Chohon from Yukon, OK, Mark Chohon, Gene (Ellen) Chohon and Pat (Patty) Chohon, all from O'Neill, Tom (Lisa) Chohon from Ainsworth and Kelly (Neil) Martin from Wagner, SD; Kaye's four children Kim (Joe) Kennedy of Hastings, Rhonda (Doug) Reusink and Karla (Ray) Colligan, all of Norton, KS, and Richard Scott from Thornton, CO; 15 grandchildren; 40 great-grandchildren; two great-great-grandchildren; one brother Leonard (Louise) Chohon of Columbus; and a host of nieces, nephews, friends and fellowship friends.
He was preceded in death by his parents Leo and Mary Chohon, a sister Elaine Tondu of Traverse City, MI, his first wife Helen and his wife Kaye Chohon.
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