More detail on this person: Major Donald Vernell Aamodt, USAF, (Ret) of Lake Mills, IA passed away Thursday, May 21, 2020 at MercyOne North Iowa Medical Center in Mason City. A private family service will be held on Saturday, May 30, 2020 at Mittelstadt Funeral Home, 902 East Main Street in Lake Mills with Pastor Joel Guttormson officiating. The service will be streamed live on the Mittelstadt Funeral Home Facebook page beginning at 1:30 PM on Saturday, May 30. The public is invited to gather at Salem Lutheran Cemetery in Lake Mills, with the family for the committal service. It will take place at approximately 2:30 PM on Saturday, May 30. Military honors will be conducted by the American Legion Otto Chose Post #235. Please wear a mask at the graveside service and practice social distancing. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be given to the Salem Lutheran Church Heating and Cooling Fund, 401 S. Lake St., Lake Mills, IA 50450, or to Arlington Veterans Park, c/o City of Lake Mills, 200 N. 1st Ave. W., Lake Mills, IA 50450. Donald Vernell Aamodt was born on August 2, 1933 to C. Oscar and Clara (Peterson) Aamodt on their farm in rural Joice, IA. He was baptized at Salem Lutheran Church in Lake Mills, IA. He was a member of Bethany Lutheran Church in Joice, IA and confirmed at Beaver Creek Lutheran Church in rural Joice, IA. He graduated from Joice High School in 1951. He continued his education at Waldorf College in Forest City, IA and Iowa State College in Ames, IA. In January 1954, Don entered the Air Force Aviation Cadet Program at Lackland Air Force Base (AFB) in San Antonio, TX. He went on to further training at Harlingen AFB in TX and was commissioned as a 2nd Lt in the USAF with an aeronautical rating as a Navigator. On August 6, 1955 Don was united in marriage to Faye Johnson at Salem Lutheran Church in Lake Mills, IA. To this union two daughters, Debra Faye and Diane Marie were born. Don entered pilot training in November 1957 at Hondo Air Base, TX. He received jet training at Big Springs AFB, TX giving him a Pilot rating in 1958. He received helicopter training at Stead AFB, NV. Don and his family were then assigned to the 71st Air Rescue Squadron at Elmendorf AFB in Anchorage, AK, flying H-21 helicopters. In 1963, Don was assigned to Bolling AFB in Washington, DC. In 1967-68, he flew H-1 (huey) helicopters in Vietnam. In 1968, he returned to the Washington, DC area and was assigned to Andrews AFB flying for the 1st Helicopter Squadron. His duties included search/rescue and transporting dignitaries to the Pentagon and Camp David. After serving 20 years in the USAF, Don retired. During Don's service, he was awarded a Silver Star, Distinguished Flying Cross, seven Air Medals and other awards and decorations. After retirement, Don continued working for the USAF as a Safety Officer. In 1997, after 23 years of civil service, he retired and moved to Lake Mills. While in Lake Mills, Don was a County Commissioner for Veterans Affairs. He was a member of the American Helicopter Association, American Legion, Daedalians, USAF Helicopter Pilot Association, VFW and Vietnam Veterans Association. He also served as an officer and on committees for the Sons of Norway and Salem Lutheran Church. Don and Faye were honored as Grand Marshals for the Lake Mills July Jubilee. Don was also given the Citizen of the Year Award by the Lake Mills Chamber Development Corp. and the Governor's Volunteer Award for outstanding service to the state of Iowa. Don was a devoted husband and father and was proud to serve God, his country and his community. He is survived by his loving wife, Faye of Lake Mills, two daughters Debra (Gerry) Sutton of Harwood, MD and Diane (James McGee) of Seward, AK, a sister, Clarine Steffensen, and many nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents, a sister Virgean Hogan, two brothers Orian and Carroll, brothers-in-law DeVere Steffensen and Donald Hogan and sisters-in-law, Elaine Aamodt and Maynis Aamodt.
Burial information: Salem Lutheran Cemetery, Lake Mills, IA
This information was last updated 12/28/2020
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Date posted on this site: 05/13/2023
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