Gilzean, Harvey Donald

Harvey “Don” Donald Gilzean, USAF (Retired)
March 11, 1929 – February 14, 2016

Harvey Donald (Don) Gilzean, Lompoc, CA

Harvey Donald (Don) Gilzean died at home in Lompoc on Feb 14, 2016, at age 86. He is survived by Marnell Fugate Gilzean, his wife of five years, his five children, Mark Gilzean, Scott Gilzean, Mary N. Gilzean, Susan Gilzean, Donna Gilzean, three grandchildren, Zandrea Harlin, Andrew Gilzean, Luke Gilzean, and one great-grandchild, Georgiana Gilzean.

His wife of 46 years, Mary N. Gilzean, died in 1999.

Don grew up in Redding, CA and found his love of all things mechanical while working many summers at Trinity Alps Resort. His natural aptitudes led to a flying career, and he earned his pilot wings from the Air Force in 1953. His assignment out of pilot training was the C-124 Globemaster to Tachikawa Air Base, near Tokyo, Japan, so he started flying into the combat theater at the end of the Korean War. He had overseas tours in Japan, Alaska, Germany, and the United Kingdom. The highlight of his career was his tour as Operations Officer of the 20th Special Operations Squadron in Vietnam, where he was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for heroism during a combat rescue on Sept 11, 1970. He retired as a Command Pilot with over 13,000 hours of flight time over the course of his 23 year Air Force career.

Some of his lifelong pastimes were horse-trading used cars, refurbishing musical instruments (including player pianos), working with clocks, family genealogy, physical fitness, and Broadway musicals.

It was Don’s desire to forego a memorial service, but friends who wish donate as a remembrance can send a card to Lompoc Meals on Wheels, P.O. Box 531, Lompoc CA 93438. Don and Marnell served as MOW delivery volunteers for many years.

Please sign the guestbook at
Published in Redding Record Searchlight on Feb. 24, 2016


February 24, 2016
Marnell and Five Children, Sympathy to all as Don left on Valentine’s Day, 2016. Don and Marnell seemed to enjoy the Class of ’47 Reunions. He was a tall guy, even in K. at Little Pine. He had a wonderful sense of humor. Big adjustment for all of you. Fond memories.

Vivian Dawson, Redding, California

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