Couture, Don R. – WA
USAF/WANG H-13, H-19, H-21, H-23, H-34, H-43, UH-1F and UH-1B/D/M.
~ FINAL FLIGHT ~
Donald “Don” R. Couture Sr., USAF (retired)
September 11, 1933 – November 23, 2021
Donald “Don” R. Couture Sr. of Black Diamond, Wash., died on November 23, 2021, of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma at Valley Medical Center in Renton. He was 88.
Don loved his family and friends. Known for his wit and charm, he was a gifted storyteller who delighted in keeping a group entertained. He had a sharp mind, a spectacular memory and a love of history.
Anyone who knew Don was aware of his great sense of humor. He liked to tease and had many jokes for any occasion, which he delivered like a pro.
He adored animals, especially dogs; he was a fabulous cook; he enjoyed reading, playing golf, oil painting, listening to music, dancing and traveling. Together with Fon, his wife of 30 years, he visited many places around the world and spent time every winter in Hawaii. But he never forgot his hometown of New Bedford, Massachusetts, visiting nearly every autumn to see family and friends and take in New England’s famous foliage and delicious seafood.
New Bedford is where Don was born, on September 11, 1933, to Azarius “Pete” and Louise Couture. Don had two older brothers, the late Arthur and Edward, and a sister who died in childhood. Don loved sports and excelled at basketball.
But Don had a hardscrabble upbringing and he joined the Air Force out of high school. His smarts and work ethic led to a career as an officer flying planes and helicopters while stationed at Strategic Air Command bases around the country.
After leaving the service, he settled in the Seattle area with his family – his first wife, the late Ann Jezek Couture, and their four children. During a second career as a manager at Boeing, he continued to fly, while a member of the Washington Army National Guard.
Survivors include his wife, Fon (nee Bayley); a sister-in-law, Glenda Bayley; his children, Donald (Donny) R. Couture Jr., Marie Couture (Gary Olivas), Denise Couture, Jacqueline Couture Escudero (Travis Eckert); his step-children, Cyndee Blackmore and Tiffany Jorgensen (Greg Yutani); grandchildren Trevor Jennings (Kelly), Mellissa Siler, Elise Howerton (Kyle), Aryn Escudero (Ashley), Hunter Blackmore (Kelsey), Gavin Olivas, Dalton Blackmore (Jenna), Evan Hirsh, Calder Hirsh and Maddie Blackmore; great-grandchildren Luke and Liam Jennings and Zoey Howerton; nieces Rona Mingola (Olavo), Jayme Couture, Caitlyn Mingola and Heather Steffenson (Paul); and a nephew, Michael Bayley (Teresa).
Family and friends are welcome to attend a military service at Tahoma National Cemetery in Kent on Friday, December 3, at 9:00 a.m.
Please also join us for a celebration of the life of Don Couture at noon (Dec. 3) at the Green River Eagles club in Black Diamond, courtesy of Don’s friends. (A buffet lunch will be served.)
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Gary Sinise Foundation (supporting veterans) or an animal rescue organization of your choice.