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Donavan E. Wasson, plant foreman, WWII veteran

Nov. 3, 1921 – April 21, 2016

Donavan Elsworth Wasson, a World War II veteran and a retired foreman for Blaw Knox Co., died Thursday in his Grand Island home. He was 94.

Born in Mille Lacs County, Minn., he completed course work at Hawthorne Vocational School and became a welder at Blaw-Knox in Mora, Minn.

Mr. Wasson was drafted into the Army in 1942 and spent two years with the 772nd Tank Destroyer Battalion at Fort Leonard Wood, Mo. He then volunteered to join the 503rd Parachute Infantry Regiment Combat Team and served in the Battle of Corregidor in the Philippines. He was on guard when Gen. Douglas MacArthur returned to Corregidor to raise the American flag.

Returning from service, he worked for Blaw-Knox until 1960, then was a salesman for Air Power Equipment Corp. and Lutheran Brotherhood Insurance Co. He rejoined Blaw-Knox in 1964 as a general foreman when the company moved its dairy equipment division to Buffalo. His wife and five children joined him in Grand Island in 1965. He retired in 1986.

He was a member of St. Timothy’s Evangelical Lutheran Church on Grand Island and served on the church council. He was a 70-year member of Post 201, American Legion, in Mora, Minn.

An avid sportsman all of his life, he enjoyed hunting and fishing. In retirement, he became an accomplished woodworker and sold many of his items at local craft shows.

Survivors include his wife of 68 years, the former Anita Kunde; four sons, John, Michael, Don and Robert; a daughter, Kathy Fowler; nine grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

Services will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday in St. Timothy’s Evangelical Lutheran Church, 1453 Staley Road, Grand Island.