Marion- COL. DONALD HOWARD RIGHTNOWAR, age 68, of Marion, passed away at 1:00pm on Friday, November 7, 2008 at his residence in Marion.
Donald was born in Johnston City on March 14, 1940, the son of Omer and Edith (Jackson) Rightnowar. He married Ruby Cochran in Rolla, Missouri on September 8, 1963. They shared forty-five years of marriage. She survives in Marion.
Mr. Rightnowar worked as an engineer technician and as a civil engineer for the Illinois Department of Transportation since 1958. He received a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering from the Missouri School of Mines and Metallurgy in Rolla, Missouri. Most recently he served as the Senior Resident Engineer for the State of Illinois supervising highway and bridge contracts and major redesign projects. He won the award for Engineer of the Year in 1987 from the Illinois Department of Transportation.
Col. Rightnowar actively served in the United States Army for two years and retired from the Army reserves. Before his retirement, he was most recently assigned as Deputy Chief of Staff, Information Management, HQ, 102d, with the US Army Reserve Command in St. Louis, Missouri. He began his military career on July 30, 1964 and attended various military schools including the USA Engineer officer Basic Course (1965), USA Infantry Airborne School (1966), USAIMA Civil Affairs Advance Course, Fort Bragg, NC (1976), USA Adjutant General Advance Course, Ft Ben Harrison, IN (1977), USAIMA Civil/Military operation Course Ft Bragg, NC (1977), USA Infantry Air Assault School Ft Campbell, KY (1980), Command and General Staff College (1985). During his times of service his duties included many assignments such as Platoon Leader, Reconnaissance Officer, and commander of the 347th Personnel Administration Battalion in Marion and he participated on the Army rifle team for several years. He was appointed as a 2nd Lieutenant on July 31, 1964 and worked his way up earning the rank of Colonel on July 30, 1990.
Col Rightnowar was decorated with numerous badges and awards including a Bronze Star, Meritorious Service with one OLC, Army Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal with one OLC, National Defense Service Medal with one OLC, Vietnam Service Medal with three service stars, Armed Forces Reserve medal with ten years service device, Army Reserve Components Achievement Medal with two and three OLC, Army Service Ribbon, Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal, Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross Unit with Palm, Parachutist badge, Air Assault Badge, Excellence in Competition Marksmanship Badge, and the Overseas Training Medal.
In his spare time, Donald, enjoyed antiquing with Ruby, attending his grandchildrens various functions, genealogical research, flower gardening and spending time drinking coffee with his retiree buddies from IDOT.
Survivors include his wife- Ruby (Cochran) Rightnowar of Marion, IL
Mother- Edith Deason of Marion, IL
Son- Donald Rightnowar Jr. and his wife Renee of Herrin, IL
Daughter- Shannon Lea Russell and her husband Paul of Herrin, IL
Four Grandchildren- Dustin Russell of Herrin, IL
Chelsea Rightnowar of Herrin, IL
Katie Russell of Herrin, IL
Alyssa Rightnowar of Herrin, IL
Brother- Gene Rightnowar of Harrisburg, IL
Several nieces and nephews
Donald was preceded in death by his father-Omer, two sisters- Ann Harrum and Roberta Wallace.
Funeral services will be held at 11:00am on Tuesday, November 11, 2008 at Mitchell-Hughes Funeral Home in Marion. Rev. Don Colson will officiate. Burial will follow at Herrin City Cemetery with military rites presented by the United States Army Honor Guard & Funeral Detail Unit. Visitation will be held from 5-8pm on Monday, November 10, 2008 at Mitchell-Hughes Funeral Home in Marion.
For those who prefer, memorial donations may be made to Hospice of Southern Illinois. Envelopes will be available and accepted at Mitchell-Hughes Funeral Home; 800 N. Market Street; Marion, IL 62959.