Donald M. Reece, 88, of Marshalltown, IA passed away Wednesday, November 28,2012, at the Iowa River Hospice House, in Marshalltown. A memorial gathering will be held from 5:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m., Tuesday, December 4, 2012, at the Main St. Chapel of the Anderson Funeral Homes, in Marshalltown. Online condolences may be sent to
Don was born on December 27th, 1923 on a farm west of Union, Iowa to Roy and Mildred (Bixby) Reece. He was raised and educated in the area of his birth. He attended High School in Albion, Iowa where he was active in baseball, basketball and amateur boxing before his graduation in 1942. After graduation, he was employed in government construction work for a short time before enlisting in the United States Marine Corp. He successfully completed Boot Camp in San Diego, California and advanced training at Camp Elliot, California. In June, 1943 Don was assigned to the 2nd Marine Division that was stationed near Wellington, New Zealand. He participated in the invasions and fought in the battles for the islands of Tarawa, Saipan, and Okinawa in the south Pacific. At the end of the war, he was in training for the invasion of Japan proper. He was awarded the Presidential Unit Citation with two Bronze Stars. After the war ended, Don was sent to Nagasaki, Japan (the site of the second of two atomic bombs that were dropped in World War II) for occupation duty. He returned to the States on Christmas Eve, 1945 and was honorably discharged from the Marine Corp in 1946. Don was employed by Kiowa Corporation for forty three years, starting out in the machine shop, then transferring to the tool and die department. After becoming a tool and die maker, Don was promoted to tool and die foreman in 1963. Additionally he was maintenance foreman during the last two years of his career.Don was an avid fisherman, especially enjoying over fifty fishing trips to Ontario, Canada, his first being in 1949. He also enjoyed hunting, gardening, and watching his favorite sports teams. He belonged to the American Legion.
Don was united in marriage to Ilah Mae Cozzi Grant on June 17, 1954. Those left to cherish his memory are his children Robert Grant of Rosenberg, TX, Christine Muhlena of Seal Beach, California, Janene (John) Whitham of Corpus Christi, TX. , five grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren. He is also survived by one sister, Evelyn McLeland, of Conrad, Iowa, one brother, Jack (Wanda) Reece of Albion, Iowa as well as several nieces and nephews.
Preceding him in death were his beloved wife of 47 years Ilah, his parents, one brother in infancy, and companion Bette Fullerton of Marshalltown.