Donald Steve Waunch passed away peacefully at the age of 90 on September 18, 2022 in Camarillo, California after a long illness. He and Katie, his wife of 42 years, have lived in Camarillo since 1986. Don was born in Salem, Oregon on July 23, 1932 and was raised in Hayward, California. He received a Bachelor of Business Administration from the University of Hawaii and entered the U.S. Marine Corps in 1958. As a decorated Marine Corps aviator, Don retired as a lieutenant colonel following 21 years of military service.
During his military career Don received the Purple Heart twice and the Distinguished Flying Cross for heroism, while serving with Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 163. The President of the United States also presented the Air Medal to Lt. Col. Donald S. Waunch for meritorious achievement in aerial flight with Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 262. Other decorations were also awarded for serving combat support missions in Vietnam, with the First Marine Aircraft Wing, where he contributed to the success of his units. His courage and devotion to duty in the face of hazardous flying conditions were in keeping with the highest traditions of the U. S. Marine Corps.
Following retirement from the Marine Corps, Don served in Washington D. C. as a congressional aide to U. S. Representative Jim Lloyd, a member of the House Armed Services and Science and Technology Committees. In 1981 Don began yet another career with the Northrop Grumman Corporation as a Business Development Director and Proposal Manager. Don retired from Northrop Grumman in 1994.
In November 2000 Don was elected to the Camarillo City Council, serving as councilman for 12 years including the position of Mayor. Under his direction the City of Camarillo made great strides in updating the city’s disaster plan. Prior to his election to City Council, Don served four years as a city of Camarillo Planning Commissioner. Don and his wife Katie were active in numerous civic and service organizations.
Following retirement, Don was a substitute teacher for the Pleasant Valley School District and served as a counselor in the Ventura County Superintendent of Schools Summer Youth Employment Training Program.
Don was preceded in death by his son Colin. He is survived by his wife Katie (née Kathleen Sullivan); his daughter Susan Larsen (husband J.R.) and grandchildren Tyler and Cody; his brother Robert Waunch (wife Marcia) and their children Tina and Tare.
A Funeral Mass for Don will be celebrated on Monday, Oct. 17 and 10: 00 AM at Padre Serra Parish, 5205 Upland Rd, Camarillo 93012.