Dedicated to the Preservation of the
U.S. Air Force Helicopter History
Donald “Don” Edward Michiels, Lt. Colonel, USAF (Retired)
Date of Death: September 18, 2020
Date of Birth: Minden, NV – Donald “Don” Edward Michiels, Lt. Col. USAF Ret., passed away on September 18, 2020, from natural causes at the age of 85.
Don was a native of De Pere, Wisconsin, and resided in Minden, Nevada. Before attending college he was a photographer for the Green Bay Press-Gazette and played trumpet for the Green Bay Packers band.
After graduating from Ohio University he served in the Air Force as a pilot and in the Aerospace Audiovisual Service (AAVS). During his Air Force career Don flew “Jolly Green Giant” helicopter Combat Search and Rescue missions in Vietnam and earned many commendations, including the Distinguished Flying Cross.
After retirement from the Air Force he continued working in audiovisual services and pursuing his love of photography.
Don is survived by his wife Carolyn; his three children and their spouses Marianne Rhoads (Ronald), John Michiels (Lisa), and Karen Mason; his step-daughter Christy Goethe; three grandchildren; two step-grandchildren; his sister Delores Vande Velden; sister-in-law Bonnie Michiels; and many nieces and nephews.
Due to the pandemic, plans will be made at a later date for a memorial service at Arlington National Cemetery. Don’s family suggests making memorial contributions to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund or another charity serving veterans.