Donald Lett, 89 of Wallingford, CT passed away at Yale New Haven Hospital on May 20, 2021 with his family by his side.
Donald was born on May 9th, 1932 to Frank and Hazel (Van Luven) Lett of Mentor, Ohio. He grew up during the Great Depression in an abandoned one room schoolhouse with no running water or electricity. He never complained about his childhood, in fact he said those were the best times of his life. He dropped out of school in 8th grade to work with his father and other jobs before entering the Army. Donald was a proud Korean War veteran and would tell anyone that listened, about his experiences in the Army. He was sent to Fort Chaffee Arkansas for basic training then was attached to the 45th Division of the Oklahoma National Guard which was activated to action in Korea. He took a train to San Francisco where he boarded a troop transport boat that hit two major typhoons in the middle of the Pacific Ocean on the way to Korea and on the way home. Donald bravely served driving half-tracks mounted with .50 caliber machine guns and while there was promoted to corporal where he was assigned as the Company Commanders driver.
After his tour ended in Korea, on August 28th, 1954, he married Emily (Kannenburg) and they resided in Geneva, Ohio until her death on August 28th, 1984, their 30th anniversary. In 1987, Donald married Karen (Gideon) of Madison, Ohio and was employed by STP in Painesville, Ohio until his retirement in 1999. Shortly after that he moved to Connecticut to be closer to his daughter. Anyone that knew "Gramp" knew he couldn’t sit still and was always cooking up some kind of soup, taking walks, lifting weights and exercising so as to not "get old". He always had a joke up his sleeve or a funny story to tell and always made friends with anyone and everyone he met.
Donald was predeceased by his 8 siblings: Frank, Robert, Roger, Tom, Albert, Betty, Dorothy and Pearl. Donald leaves behind Karen his second wife, his only child Tammy (Lett) and husband John of Wallingford, Ct, and grandchildren; John III and wife Vanessa of North Haven, Ct, Samuel of North Branford, Gabriel, Noah, Ezra and Grace of Wallingford and a great granddaughter Ayla.
There will be a graveside service in Geneva, Ohio at the Evergreen Cemetery on July 17th at 11am with full military honors. A huge thank you to all who were a part of Donald's final moments here on earth during his unexpected death.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Donald Lett, please visit our floral store.