Donald Loren Colbert Sr age 86, graduated from this life on Palm Sunday the 28th of March 2021, at home with his wife and stepson by his side. His children, were able to see and talk to him by facetime or google before he passed.
Donald was delivered by midwife, 12 September 1934, approximately 10 minutes after the birth of his twin sister Donna Lee Colbert. His mother and her sisters lived with grandparents James and Althea O’Neil. His mother was Phyllis Elaine O’Neil, his father who he never knew, was Kenneth Kolburgh.
In April 1940 both grandparents passed away within 10 days of each other, the sisters could no longer afford the home and the twins age 6 years, and their siblings were taken to the Catholic Orphanage, where they were sent to farms to work.
5 October 1951, at the age of 17, Donald enlisted in the Marine Corps where he served almost 24 years retiring in August 1975. He served in Korea and Viet Nam and was a proud MCRD Parris Island , SC Drill instructor and then a Platoon Sergeant training future officers at MCB, Quantico, VA.
After retirement Donald worked for Lockheed International as a traffic management specialist in Teheran, Iran 1976-1979. During March 1979, the Shah was overthrown and all of the military and mayors or citizens faithful to him were executed. Donald and others were rounded up and taken to the American Embassy and held by the Kohemeni Revolutionary Freedom Fighters for 3 days, then released and escorted to the airport and flown to the US.
He then worked for the Navy Department in support of NATO forces and others in Naples, Italy as a Traffic Manager, US Customs Service and US Department of Agriculture for 20 years, retiring again to his native California home.
He was a lifetime member of the the VFW Post 6158 in Fair Oaks, CA serving a 2 year term as their post Chaplain.
He met his wife Betty Jo through his twin sister in June 1997 while visiting Sacramento, and this began an epic love story. They were married on 26 June 1999, and as she was a travel agent they were able to go on 24 Princess Cruises and enjoy many wonderful destinations together.
Donald was baptized into The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints on 20 December 2008, and he and BettyJo were married in the Sacramento Temple 26 June 2010.
In April 2003, after having an attack of Ulcerative Colitis, he contracted Listeria that went to the brain, necessitating emergency brain surgery, which left him paralyzed from the neck down. After extreme physical therapy and with his fighting spirit and positive attitude, he was able come home in June 2003. He and BettyJo were able to live their lives in their new normal, until he suffered a stroke in 2017 which paralyzed his throat and vocal chords among other damage. Then in April 2018 he fell and broke his hip, and survived pneumonia and another stroke on the way to the Skilled Nursing facility. When he came home the VA provided a hospital bed wheelchair, etc, to help in his care, he became completely bedbound in January 2021.
He never once complained and was always positive and upbeat about his life. Men who he had trained in Boot Camp contacted him to tell him how much he influenced their lives. The people who worked under his management in Naples, Italy, called and sent cards every holiday, to include St Patrick’s Day 2021. Neurological Rehab Center in Rocklin became a second home He was a great inspiration to his family, friends and all who came to know him.
He is survived by his wife BettyJo, and his children from his first marriage, Donald Jr(Emily) David(Leah) Dannette and he is preceded in death by son Darren(Hollea). Donald is also preceded in death by his twin Donna Lee, brothers Charles Sickles, and Robert Long.
Also, survived by Step-Children Robert Lahmann, Wade Lahmann(Samantha) Jennifer Dawid(Kenneth) Jana Boles(John) Jodi Lahmann, preceded in death by Wendy Nyman
Survived by grandchildren Kevin, Tanner, Tyler, Halston, Tegan, Rhett, Lola, Kinsley, Grayden, Great Grandchild Kinzie. He also has 17 step grandchildren, and 7 step-great grandchildren.
Survived also by 4 special nieces in Montana, Kentucky and California and one grand niece.
Services are: Viewing Friday, 9 April 4-7 at Price Funeral Chapel, Citrus Heights
Funeral Services Saturday, 10 April 10:00 AM at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on Oak Ave, Citrus Heights
Burial with Military Honors, Wednesday, 14 April 11:30 at the Veteran’s Cemetery in Dixon,
California. Donations may be made to “Wounded Warriors, or other charities for service members and veterans.
To send flowers to Donald's family, please visit our floral store.