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Funeral services for Donald H. Coonrod, Sr., 79, of Hawley, Texas, will be held on Saturday, April 16, 2016. Graveside services will be held at 11:00 A.M. at the Elmwood Memorial Park and memorial services will be held at 12:00 P.M. at the Brook Hollow Christian Church, 2310 South Willis. Services will be officiated by the Reverend Penny Biddy. Visitation will be held at the Elliott-Hamil Funeral Home, 5701 Highway 277 on Friday, April 15, from 5:00 P.M. to 7:00 P.M.
Donald was born March 14, 1937 on the family farm in Snyder, Texas. His parents were Walter Jennings Coonrod and Olive Winter Coonrod. He attended Snyder schools and was a resident of Scurry County until 1950 when his parents moved to Abilene. He attended Abilene High School and graduated in 1955. He joined the National Guard Reserve and served for 5 years. He also attended Texas Technological College. While there, he was a member of Kappa Sigma fraternity and was a Saddle Tramp. He received his Bachelor of Science degree in Agricultural Engineering in August 1960.
Donald met his wife at Texas Tech, and he married Gwendolyn Sue Brunson August 27, 1960 in Amarillo Texas. He entered Aviation Officer Cadet School in Pensacola, Florida in September of 1960. He received his wings in Corpus Christi, and his tours of duty included Barber's Point, Hawaii, and the Naval Air Station in Beeville, Texas. He served his five - year military obligation, plus 2 years of extended duty and remained in the U.S. Navy as an aviator until 1967. He then settled into his home in Jones County in 1968. He continued his naval career as a member of the Naval Reserve until April 1978. He spent weekends with the reserves, traveling to Grand Prairie and also spending his summers with two weeks of active duty. He retired his wings with rank of Commander. He loved flying and his 23 years of service for his country.
Always loving diversity in his life, Donald received his Secondary Education degree with a major of mathematics and a minor in History in 1967 and also his master's degree in Education from Abilene Christian University in 1975. He began teaching in 1968 at Madison Middle School and he taught math and served as the Chairman of the math department. He also served as an advisor to the state and local textbook committees. He taught at Madison 17 years. In 1985, he began teaching at Cooper High School and taught all levels of math. After 13 years at Cooper, he retired from teaching in 1998. Donald completed all 30 years in AISD, and he enjoyed teaching all levels of math including honors and advanced mathematics.
Donald and Gwen have been members of Brook Hollow Christian Church since 1967. He served in many capacities including Deacon, Elder and Chairman of the board. He taught Sunday school, and he volunteered for many activities and committees at the church.
Because of his love of education, Donald served on the Hawley PTA and Booster Club. He was the president for two terms during 1979-1980. He was also a member of Hawley School board and served six years in this capacity. He also served on the Jones County Fair Board, Texas Hereford Association, American Herford Association, and served with 4-H of Jones County and FFA in Hawley.
Throughout his teaching and naval career, he continued to devote his time and talents to his first love, farming and ranching. For five decades, he raised cattle, farmed cotton and hay. He raised alfalfa and sold it all over the area. He had donated hay to the Abilene Zoo, and area Girl Scout troops. Donald enjoyed showing Hereford Cattle, a round of golf, and he carved in time playing cards with his close friends. He also enjoyed his high school and fraternity reunions and gatherings with his naval buddies. He also loved to attend Texas Tech football games, and was an enthusiastic Red Raider, always proud to keep his Guns Up.
He is survived by his wife, Gwen, of 55 years. He has a daughter, Ronda Coonrod Cullen of Argyle, and son, Donald H. Coonrod, Jr. of Abilene. Ronda and her husband Mitch have three sons, Aaron, Clayton and Spencer. Don and his wife Gwen have three sons, Justin, Corbin, Chance, and a great grandson, Cale. He is also survived by his sister, Billie Jean Coonrod Robinson, and three nieces and three nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents, Walter and Olive Coonrod, and brother and sister, Walter Hugh Coonrod and Laura Mary Coonrod Heath, and his in-laws, Joe and Helen Brunson.
His pallbearers will be his six grandsons. Memorials may be given to Brook Hollow Christian Church, 2310 S. Willis Street, Abilene, TX 79605 or by calling 325.692.4446. You may also donate to a favorite charity in his honor.
You may view and sign the online guest book at www.elliott-hamil.com.