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Donald

Donald Charles Sidak

Donald Charles Sidak passed away peacefully at his home in Alexandria, Louisiana on May 9th, 2022, after a long battle with cancer. He was active until the last few months and almost made it to his 97th birthday. Memorial services will be on Friday, September 16, 2022 at 2:00 p.m. at the Wintz Funeral Home in Hartington, Nebraska with the Rev. Amanda Talley officiating.  Burial of his cremated remains will be at the Hartington City Cemetery with military rites by the Hartington VFW Post #5283.  The family will receive friends from 1:00 p.m. until service time at the Wintz Funeral Home. Don was born on the Sidak family farm in Cedar County, Nebraska on June 13, 1925 to Joseph and Hilda Wilhelmina (Winger) Sidak.  He graduated from Hartington (Nebraska) High School in 1942 at the age of 16 and immediately moved to California. In 1943 he joined the Navy and by the time he was 18 he had completed pilot training, was commissioned an ensign and ultimately served as a torpedo bomber pilot. After he was discharged from the Navy in 1947, he transferred to the newly created U.S. Air Force. Until 1950 he flew P-51 Mustangs with the 82nd Fighter Bomber Wing at Grenier Air Force Base, New Hampshire.  After a manpower drawdown, he was released from the Air Force and for a brief time he attended engineering school at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa. His schooling was short lived when in 1951 he was recalled to active duty and sent to the 406th Fighter Bomber Wing in Godman Air Force Base, Kentucky. Six months later his unit was sent to England where he flew single-engine, turbo-jet F-84’s and F-86’s. Don spent 3 and a half years at RAF Manston, England and flew deterrence missions throughout Europe and North Africa. While in England he was briefly married to his girlfriend from his time at Drake University. His tour in Europe complete, he was transferred to England Air Base in Alexandria, Louisiana where he continued to fly F-86’s before transitioning to being an instructor teaching instrument flying. From 1959 to 1963, he transitioned to flying B-47 Bombers out of Lake Charles Air Force Base, Louisiana as part of Strategic Air Command’s global deterrence mission. During this time he spent many months on alert, either at Lake Charles or at forward bases like Nouasseur Air Base in Morocco. His final years in the Air Force were spent flying in an Air Weather Squadron conducting atmospheric sampling and radiation detection work in the Arctic region. He logged close to 6,000 flying hours before retiring in 1965, attaining the rank of Major. After his retirement from the Air Force, he went back to school and received his law degree from Southern University in 1975. He was a practicing attorney in Alexandria, Louisiana for decades where he enjoyed helping people in need. Everyone who met Don knows that he lived life to the fullest and loved flying, fast cars, and visiting the local casino. He enjoyed telling stories and his quick wit and sense of humor made being around him an unforgettable experience. Don is survived by a sister, Julia White, Colleyville, Tx and 13 nieces and nephews; Jackie White Wall, Plano, Tx;  Greg Sidak, McLean, VA;  Warren Wilbeck, Hartington, Nebraska;  Hollie White, Colleyville, TX; Rosemary Averitt Rutherford, Kahului, Hawaii;  Larry White, Dove Canyon, CA; Stephana Mehl, Tustin, CA; Doris Ann Averitt May, San Marcos, TX;  Julie Mehl, Napa, CA;  Cheryl Sidak Charette, Temecula, CA; Julie Averitt Schneider, Canyon Lake, TX,: Kathy White Hadley, Colleyville, TX; Carolyn Averitt, San Marcos, TX; a cousin, Bonnie Sidak Dewell, Norfolk, Nebraska; and several great- nieces, nephews and friends who will forever miss him and always remember him. Don was preceded in death by his parents, Joe and Hilda; three of his Sisters; Annie Wilbeck; Wilma Mehl; and Doris Averitt; and his four brothers; Julius; Joseph Jr.; and baby brothers; Frank and Leonard.
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