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Donald W. Sebastian

February 7, 1924 ~ July 20, 2012 (age 88)

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Donald Walter Sebastian, Lt Col, USAF (Ret), passed away on July 20, 2012 in New Glarus, WI at the age of 88 of Parkinson’s disease.  Don was born to Walter and Evelyn (Valley) Sebastian on February 7, 1924 in Prairie du Chien WI where he worked for over 50 years as a barber both in a shop downtown and as the barber at Campion Jesuit High School.  He was a ‘third generation’ barber preceded by his father and grandfather Jacob Sebastian.

During World War II, Don was stationed at Thurleigh, England in the 8th Air Force, 306th Bomb Group, 369th Bomb Squadron where he was a bombardier on a B-17 Flying Fortress and flew combat missions.    After the war, Don continued his military service as part of the Air Force Reserves and retired as a Lt Col.  He was a member of the Reserve Officers Association, the 8th AF Historical Society Inc and the 306th Bomb Group Association.

 Don married Marie Slama on June 9, 1948 and they later divorced.  He later married Irene Cullen-Strauman on October 30, 1976.  Don served as a member of the Prairie du Chien City Council for 8 years and was an active member of the local VFW Post 01945, the American Legion Post 0068, the Knights of Columbus, and the Fraternal Order of Eagles Aerie 1502 for many years.  He had a special love of fishing, playing Euchre (and on occasion was even known to cheat at it), playing golf and was an avid Green Bay Packer fan. 

He is survived by his wife, Irene (Cullen/Strauman) of New Glarus WI,  his daughters, Connie Pepin (Jeff) of Denver CO and Janis Johnson (Eric) of Clinton IA, a son,  Randy (Julie) of Evansville WI, six grandchildren, eight great grandchildren,  one great-great grandson,  as well as two step-daughters, Rosemary (Strauman) Kavon,  of Verona WI, and Carol Ann (Strauman) Burr of Saginaw MI, seven step-grandchildren,   10  step-great grandchildren, two brothers, Robert (Ethel) of Prairie du Chien and Paul (Bea) of Kenosha WI, four nieces, and one nephew. 

The family extends a special thanks to Dr. Stephen Olcott, Belleville Family Medicine, Brooke Hoesly of Monroe Clinic Hospice and the staff of the 400 wing of the New Glarus Home for their excellent care during Don’s illness, and to Father Michael Moon of St Francis of Assisi, Belleville WI.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be Monday, July 23, 2012 at 11:00 AM at St. Gabriel’s Church of the Holy Family Parish, Rev. James Weighner officiating, with burial in the Evergreen Cemetery both in Prairie du Chien.  Military honors will be accorded by the State of Wisconsin, Department of Veteran Affairs.  Friends may call on Monday, July 23, 2012 from 9:00 AM until the time of departure for the church at the Garrity Funeral Home in Prairie du Chien. 

The family requests donations in lieu of flowers be sent in his honor  to the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation, 1359 Broadway, Suite 1509 New York, NY 10018 or online at or Freedom Honor Flight, P.O. Box 505, La Crosse, Wisconsin, 54602-0505.

 Service Information

July 23, 2012

9:00 AM to 10:30 AM
Garrity Funeral Home
704 S. Ohio St.
Prairie du Chien, WI 53821

Mass of Christian Burial
July 23, 2012

11:00 AM
St. Gabriel's Church of the Holy Family Parish
506 N. Beaumont Rd.
Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin 53821

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