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In Memoriam ~ CDR Donald J. Wernimont ’50

CDR Donald J. Wernimont, USN (Ret.) ’50

Virginia Beach – CDR Donald J. Wernimont, USN (Ret.), 85, passed away March 27, 2018.

Born May 15, 1932, on the family farm in Carroll County, IA, he was the son of the late Ben and Elizabeth (Kohorst) Wernimont. He married Phyllis Beckman on August 18, 1956 in St. John’s Catholic Church, Arcadia, IA.

Donald attended Mt. Carmel Grade School and was a graduate of St. John’s Prep School in Collegeville, MN. After one year at St. John University, he enrolled in the NROTC at Iowa State University and majored in Industrial Engineering. He served in the U.S. Naval Reserves from 1951 -1955 and upon graduation was commissioned an Ensign on June 10, 1955. He was accepted into the Naval Air Training Program in Pensacola, FL, and then attended advanced flight training in Hutchinson, Kansas in 1956 where he earned his wings as a Naval Aviator.

Donald’s assignments included Patrol Squadron 23 (VP-23), Brunswick, ME, and Patrol Squadron 24 (VP-24), Norfolk (1961) where he flew the P2-V. He also served as an instructor, Fleet Airborne Electronic Training Unit; Commander of Fleet Air Norfolk; Weapons Training Officer, USS Intrepid (1969-1971); and Instructor and Head of Biological and Chemical Warfare Division, NWT Center. His final assignment was Head of the Technical Inspection Dept., Nuclear Weapons Training Group-Atlantic. He retired on January 1, 1978, as a Navy Commander and received the Naval Commendation Medal. He subsequently was a consultant in Navy research programs and wrote a manual on shipboard security.

Donald was a founding member of Church of the Ascension, Virginia Beach and enjoyed woodworking, auto mechanics, electronics, music, and videography.

He was preceded in death by his parents; his brothers, Wilfred and Lester; sister, Jean Schenkelberg and husband, Bill; his in-laws, Henry and Ann Beckman of Arcadia, IA, Lucille and Herbert Buelt, Eunice Starman, and Mike Kean.

Left to celebrate his life are his loving wife of 61 years, Phyllis Beckman Wernimont; sister, Rose Kean; sisters and brothers-in-law, Virginia Wernimont, Ray and Irene Beckman, Verna and Leonard Tuning, Virginia and Leonard Buelt, and Louis Starman; children and their families, daughter, Susan (Kelly) Hemphill, their son, Christopher (Tabatha) Hemphill and children, Aidan, Liam, and Camden Hemphill, their daughter, Melissa (Michael) Everette and child, Ailie Everette; son, Don Wernimont, Jr.; daughter, Jan (Tony) Callis, their children, Will and Anna Callis; daughter, Lisa (Don) Sweeney, their sons, Jacob and Benjamin Sweeney; son, Jerry (Jacque) Wernimont, their children, Jennifer and Ashlee Wernimont; and son, Rick (Janet) Wernimont.

The family will receive friends from 9:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. Tuesday, April 3, at Church of the Ascension, Virginia Beach. The funeral mass will immediately follow at 11 a.m. A graveside service will be held at 11 a.m. Wednesday, April 4, at Albert G. Horton, Jr., Memorial Veterans Cemetery. The family wishes to express their gratitude to both Kempsville Health and Rehabilitation Center and Medi Home Health and Hospice for the excellent care provided. Condolences may be offered to the family at