Photography

Donald E. Elder, Sr.

September 9, 1928 ~ April 6, 2022 (age 93)

Obituary

DOCUMENTED ORIGINAL TUSKEGEE AIRMAN (RED TAILS)

"CONGRESSIONAL GOLD MEDAL RECEIPIENT"

Donald E. Elder, Sr., passed April 6, 2022. Family will receive friends on Monday, April 18, 2022 at 9:30 a.m. until the time of service at 11:00 a.m. at New Salem Missionary Baptist Church, 2956 Cleveland Avenue, Cols, OH 43224.

Donald "Don" Eugene Elder, Sr, born September 9, 1928 in Columbus, Ohio to the late Charles and Ada Elder.  Don departed this life on April 6, 2022 at his residence.  Don was the second oldest child of eleven children and proceeded in death by five brothers and one sister.

Don attended kindergarten at St. Cyprian Parish. Later, he continued his early education in the Columbus Public Schools System.  He advanced his education at Franklin University, Columbus, Ohio, majoring in Industrial Management.

Don enlisted in the United States Army Air Corp, Fort Hayes, Columbus, Ohio on March 11, 1946.  He received basic training at Sheppard Field, Wichita Falls, Texas; Aircraft and Engine Mechanic Training, Keesler Field Biloxi, Mississippi; and P-47 Specialist Training, Chaute Field, Rantoul, Illinois.  Upon completion of training, Don was assigned as Crew Chief with the 99th Fighter Squadron for the P-47 Aircraft Fighter Squadron under the command of Colonel Benjamin O. Davis, Jr. The 99th Fighter Squadron was the first Black flying squadron, and the first to deploy overseas.  On January 20, 1949, Don Elder's unit marched in the inaugural parade for President Harry S. Truman prior to his discharge from service. Don served from March 11, 1946 until honorably discharged, March 11,1949.

Don is a DOCUMENTED ORIGINAL TUSKEGEE AIRMAN (DOTA).  In 2007, along with approximately 300 Tuskegee Airmen or their widows, at the United States Capitol Rotunda, Don was awarded the "CONGRESSIONAL GOLD MEDAL" by then President George W. Bush and Speaker of the House Madam Nancy Pelosi. 

Mr. Elder is recognized, nationally, for his commitment to the improvement of Civil Rights and Fair Employment Practices.  He's the founding President of the Central Ohio Minority Affairs Representatives (COMAR) and a long time member of the National Urban League, the National Association of the Advance of Colored People (NAACP), the National Alliance of Business, the Youth Motivation Task Force, the National Industry Liaison Group, and Past Chairman of the Fort Worth McDonald YMCA Minority Achievers. Don served as the President of the North Texas Industry Liaison Group.

Don retired from Rockwell International Incorporated after 33 years of service. Then he accepted the position of Chief of Labor Relations with the State of Ohio, Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections.  In 1994, he retired from the State of Ohio as Deputy Director of Administration.  Relocating to Texas, Don accepted the position of Manager of Diversity with Bell Helicopter Textron, Fort Worth, Texas, were he remained until retirement in February 2004. Mr. Elder is a 33rd degree mason.

Mr. Elder is survived by his wife, Faye, of 42 years, two sons, Shorty and Donald, a daughter, Donna Jean, 12 grandchildren, 15 great grandchildren, and one great great grandson.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Donald, please visit our floral store.


Services

Visitation
Monday
April 18, 2022

9:30 AM to 11:00 AM
New Salem Missionary Baptist Church
2956 Cleveland Avenue
Columbus, OH 43224

Funeral Service
Monday
April 18, 2022

11:00 AM
New Salem Missionary Baptist Church
2956 Cleveland Avenue
Columbus, OH 43224

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