Obituary of Donald L. McGovern
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Donald L. McGovern passed away on January 29, 2023 at the Charleston WV home of his daughter after a brief illness. He was 97 years old. Don was born on March 28, 1925 in Wayland, NY to Leo Owen McGovern and Amelia (Smalt) McGovern. He was predeceased by his wife Katherine (Reeser) McGovern and his sister Gloria (McGovern) Underwood. Don graduated from Dansville High School in NY in 1942. Having the highest marks in math and science in his class (and after taking four years of Latin), he was awarded the Rensselaer Medal at his graduation ceremony. Soon after he graduated, he received his draft notice from Uncle Sam and the US Army. He completed basic training at Fort Knox, KY. The Army recognized his abilities and enrolled him in the Army Specialized Training Program (ASTP), an elite engineering program at Indiana University in Bloomington, IN. He and other recruits were put through a rigorous engineering training program – up at 6 am, classes all day, study hall, PT, and lights out at 11 PM. Don continued in the coursework for several months, but D-Day was approaching. The engineering program was cancelled, and he was off to Camp Campbell, KY for final invasion training with the 20th Armored Division, D Company, 9th Tank Battalion. They sailed for France aboard the SS Brazil in January 1945 and landed 14 days later at Le Harvre. They quickly loaded their tanks and chased the Germans through France, Belgium, Luxembourg and down through Germany. The 20th Armored ended their tour with VE-Day in Salzburg and helped liberate the Dachau concentration camp. They shipped back to the USA in July, 1945 on the USS John Ericsson, ready to head to the west coast and then to the invasion of Japan. They landed in NY Harbor on August 6, 1945 – the day the atomic bomb fell on Hiroshima. Soon after, Don was discharged as a Corporal and headed home to support his widowed mother and grandmother in Dansville. He was employed at the Blum Shoe Factory, the Dansville Post Office, and at Foster Wheeler for over 40 years. Don met the love of his life, Katherine May Reeser of Wayland NY, soon after he returned. They were married on August 11, 1951, and had five children - Nancy Azzi (Robert Azzi) of Mulberry FL; Robert McGovern (Lydia Dungog) of Stafford VA; Thomas McGovern of Houston TX; Luanne McGovern (William Carlon) of Charleston WV; Susan McGovern (Keith Crumpton) of Hesperus CO. He leaves five grandchildren, ten great grandchildren and one great-great grandson. He was predeceased by his granddaughter Lindsey (Partridge) Kvasnicka. Don loved to travel to see new places and to visit family and friends. He worked tirelessly to support his family and to give them every opportunity. Don was a devoted caretaker of his beautiful wife Katie over many years. He was very active in the 20th Armored Division veterans' association and traveled to reunions all over the country. He was a member of the American Legion Daniel Goho Post for over 65 years. As a member of the original "Worm Gang" he was always ready for a party or a game of Pitch at the family home on Stones Falls Road, where he lived for over 80 years. A devout Catholic, Don was a parishioner at St. Mary's Catholic Church in Dansville for most of his life. He was truly a member of the Greatest Generation. A Catholic burial service will be held at Holy Cross Cemetery in Dansville later this year, where he will rest next to his wife. In lieu of flowers, consider a donation in Don's name to his favorite charity - St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, www.stjude.org.
Memorial Mass of Christian Burial
Saturday, July 15, 2023
St. Mary's Church Dansville, NY
40 Elizabeth St.
Dansville, New York, United States
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1925 - 2023
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