Donald Dwain Hotz
Donald Dwain Hotz
  • July 27, 1932 - January 27, 2017
  • Columbia, South Carolina

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COLUMBIA On Friday, January 27, 2017, our Heavenly Father called Sgt. 1st Class, Donald D. Hotz, 84, home.

A native of Glendale, Kansas, born to the late James and Ruth Hotz, Don was the third oldest sibling to BettyMae, John, George, and Ann. Don grew up on a small farm in Glendale, Kansas. He attended school at a local one-room school house and graduated from Tescott High School in 1950.

Don enlisted in the U.S. Army in March of 1951. He trained in infantry until his arrival in Japan. He was sent to the Far East to train as a Medical Aide Man from August to early September of that year. He then proudly served as a Medic in the 3rd Infantry Division to the 15th regiment, King Co.

Don continued to serve as a Medic in the Korean War, and later two tours as a Medical Advisor in Vietnam, USAH, Bangkok and Sanosan,Thailand.

Don received many medals during his service, including a medal of occupation, national defense, conduct, Vietnam service, Cross of Gallantry, Vietnam Campaign medal, Combat Medical Badge, a Bronze Star for his meritorious service, and a Purple Heart for injuries sustained in the Vietnam War.

During Don’s service he was chosen as a vaccinator for the Army’s field test of the Dried Smallpox Vaccine on test directorate for the “Frontier Shield” in Germany with the 3rd Armored Division. He later served for the AFEES, New Haven, Conn. until retirement in 1976.

Don married Krisztina Hollo in 1977 after their four year courtship. He met his wife at a dinner dance in Fairfield, Conn. They had their first date on New Year's Eve in 1973, where they danced to Strangers In The Night, sung by Frank Sinatra.

After retirement from the Army he was an inspector for Country Home Bakery. In 1995 Donald and his wife, Krisztina retired to Columbia, S.C. where he donated his time to raising funds for the Purple Heart Association Chapter 402, serving as a Honor Guard at funerals and marching in the Veteran’s Day parade with the Legion Post 6.

Don was an outstanding soldier, husband, father, and grandfather. He was loved by many. He was generous, honest, warmhearted, and he had a great sense of humor. He loved a good laugh and to share stories of his life with people. He was an avid reader and loved to travel with his wife, and take photographs. He enjoyed cooking favorite recipes, cryptograms, crossword puzzles, solitaire, and western music. Donald also cherished time with his wife and family and loved to dote on his many grandchildren.

Don leaves behind his loving wife of 40 years, Krisztina Hotz; daughter, Donna Rowe and husband, Keith Rowe; son, John Hotz; stepdaughter, Linda Gladu; stepson, Louis Bodak and wife, Kelly Lineberry; sister, Anne Kingsley and late husband, Charles Kingsley; brother, John Hotz and wife, Anne Hotz; grandchildren, Tanya Rosati and her husband, Philip Rosati, Courtney Bodak, Amber Perez, Matthew Bodak, Caitlyn Lineberry, Zoe Bodak; great-grandchildren, Preston Williams, Emma Williams, Alexa Rosati, Curtis Bodak, and Kennedy Bodak. Don was preceded in death by his parents, James and Ruth Hotz; son, James Hotz; brother, George Hotz; and sister, BettyMae Koen.

Visitation will be held from 5-7 p.m. on Tuesday January 31, 2017, at Dunbar Funeral Home, 3926 Devine Street, Columbia. The memorial service will be at 11:00 a.m. on Wednesday February, 1, 2017, at the funeral home. Interment with full military honors will follow in Fort Jackson National Cemetery, 4170 Percival Road, Columbia.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to the Fisher House, 50 Irving Street, Washington, DC 20422.