Donald H Warthen
September 25, 1942 - April 11, 2022
Donald "Don" Warthen of Hacienda Heights, California, passed away on April 11, 2022. Don was born in Denver, Colorado on an early autumn day, September 25, 1942, to loving parents, Calvin, and Clara Warthen. Don grew up east of Denver, in the growing city of Aurora, Colorado. As a young boy he spent many days at his grandfather's farm in Nebraska. In his early youth, Don was a boy scout, and later served as a school lifeguard.
Don joined the US Navy after graduating from high school, continuing this posture of service into his young adult life. Don joined the underwater demolition team in 1961 the year before President John F. Kennedy started the Navy Seal program. Two teams of Seals were drawn from the Navy Underwater Demolition Team. Don served on Seal Team 1.
On February 20, 1962, Friendship 7 was launched into space, piloted by American astronaut John Glenn. This made Glenn the first American astronaut to orbit the Earth. Splashing down in the North Atlantic, Friendship 7 was recovered by Seal Team 1; Don stood on top the capsule.
The Cuban Missile Crisis followed, and Kennedy once again called Seal Team 1 to lead the way, preparing for a possible invasion of Cuba. Don continued to serve on Seal team 1 and 3 in Vietnam.
Don attended college under the GI Bill, receiving his Juris Doctor Degree. He was a certified tax accountant and a GIA certified Gemologist.
Don worked for the Shell Oil Corporation for twenty-five years before retiring.
Outside of his career, Don had many hobbies. He loved listening to music and playing the guitar. Pairing his degree with deep interest, Don was a rockhound and enjoyed faceting stones. He shared that love through teaching Mineral Science classes to children. Don was an artist and enjoyed photography. He enjoyed bowling with friends and family. Don was a very lovable person--and so humble.
Don was associated with St. John Vianney Catholic Church in Hacienda Heights. He was a proud member of The American Legion #267 in La Habra, California, The La Habra Chamber, and the La Habra and Whittier Art Gallery.
Don is survived by his loving wife Ofelia, of forty-five years. They had four children, nine grandchildren and two great grandchildren. Don is also survived by his sister Elva Taylor, and brother-in-law Robbie Taylor.
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