Donald Haydon George of Reedville, Virginia passed away peacefully on 06/01/2020 at his home. He was born on 11/25/1926 in Fairport, Virginia, to the late Captain Ira George and Inez George. Following in the footsteps of his father and uncles, Donald pursued work at sea from an early age, sailing aboard the deck boat Dudley, coastal freight boat Armistice, and the menhaden steamers Mermantau and Shoal Harbor, all before graduating high school. After graduation from Reedville High School in 1944, Donald immediately enlisted in the U.S. Navy, serving as a signalman for the remainder of WWII aboard USS Farquhar (DE-139). Upon his honorable discharge from the U.S. Navy in 1946, Donald attended Randolph Macon College, graduating in 1950. While in college, he continued to sail as mate aboard menhaden steamers during his summers at home. Donald spent his professional career with the Naval Surface Warfare Center in Dahlgren, Virginia serving for 38 years as a naval weapons development expert, receiving numerous awards and commendations. While working at NSWC Dahlgren, Donald volunteered as a civilian observer in the combat zone in Vietnam, developing weapons tactics for US forces. Upon his retirement in 1983, Donald spent his time with his family, fishing, gardening, watching menhaden boats, supporting the Reedville Fisherman’s Museum, and fixing anything and everything that needed repair.
Donald is survived by his sons, Donald Haydon “Donny” George, Jr. of Fairport, Virginia, and William Courtney “Billy” George and daughter-in-law Debbie of Chesterfield, Virginia, and his sister-in-law Nell Carter Courtney of Richmond, Virginia. He is survived by three grandsons, Donald Greene, Jason Greene, and Kevin Greene, all of Suffolk, Virginia, and two granddaughters, Kati Leigh Frye of Woodbridge, Virginia, and Kendall Knickerbocker of, Chesterfield, Virginia. He is also survived by two great-grandsons, Kannon and Hudson, two great-granddaughters, Avery and Juliette, his nephew Bobby George, niece Audrey Pretlow Mitchell and husband Steve, and numerous nieces and nephews. Donald is preceded in passing by his loving wife, Jane Courtney George of Kinsale, Virginia, his beloved daughter, Beverley George Greene, of Suffolk, Virginia, his brothers Ira, Robert, and Cullen, and his sisters Audrey and Kaye.
He was a patriot, U.S. Navy Sailor, commercial fisherman, civil servant, Mason, loving husband, father, grandfather, brother, and a friend to many. He will be dearly missed.
A private graveside service will be held at Roseland Cemetery, Reedville.