Donald Glenn Dahlberg, 69, passed away on Saturday, Aug. 6, 2011, at his home in Show Low from bladder cancer. Memorial services and inurnment will be held at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Aug. 20, at the Show Low Cemetery.
He was born on July 21, 1942, in Laurens, Iowa, to Glenn and Catherine (Adkins) Dahlberg. He was educated through the Laurens Public Schools system, and then joined the United States Navy in 1961.
Don served as a gunner’s mate on the USS Kawishiwi from 1961 through 1965 during the Vietnam War. While serving with the RUSMOC (Recoverer of U.S. Manned Spaced Capsule), they were part of the fleet that recovered the fourth U.S. manned orbital flight capsule in the Mercury Space Mission. After proudly serving four years for his country, Don was honorably discharged. He kept in touch with some of his shipmates, particularly his buddy Pat Bean in Washington, and recently attended their 50-year reunion in San Francisco, Calif.
On Jan. 29, 1967, Don married Sharon Gardner. They had two children together, Kristina and Kurt, and they remained in Laurens for most of their marriage. Don and Sharon divorced in 1984, and Don relocated to Show Low in January 1985, where he made his home for the remainder of his life.
He married Clair Thomas on May 3, 1986, and they had one son, Chase. Their marriage ended in 1994.
Don was always known as a hard worker and was willing to lend a hand to anyone that needed help. He began farming with his family at an early age, and continued farming after returning to Laurens. Don also worked as a heavy equipment operator, machinist and a millwright at the Snowflake Paper Mill. After “retiring” from the mill, he began his own business with his friend George Hamann, and created Flaming Torch, a custom metal art and fabrication company run out of Don’s garage. Don’s son Chase also helped a great deal in this venture. The incredible talents visible in the creations of Don, George and Chase can be seen all over Arizona and other states as well.
In addition to his metal work, he also enjoyed fishing and camping with Kristina and Kurt, and was an active member of the local Elks Club and VFW. Don always had a great passion for auto racing, and in his younger days was part of a modified stock car crew with Denny Hovinga. Most weekends you could find him at dirt tracks all over Iowa and southern Minnesota.
Survivors include his stepmother, Dona Dahlberg of Estherville, Iowa; his children, Kristina Dahlberg and Kurt Dahlberg, both of Denver, Colo., and Chase Dahlberg of Wagon Wheel; Chase’s sisters, Lena (Zathan) Baker and family of San Diego, Calif., and Darby (Adam) Conroy and family of Tucson; his brothers, Gary (Mary) Dahlberg and Jim (Carolyn) Dahlberg, both of Des Moines, Iowa, and Bob (Teresa) Dahlberg of Laurens, Iowa.
He was preceded in death by his parents and his cousin, Mike Tool.
Owens Livingston Mortuary of Show Low was in charge of the arrangements.