Donald Chastain, of Thatcher and a United States Army Vietnam veteran, entered into rest Thursday evening, April 1, 2021, at the Cobre Valley Regional Medical Center in Globe. He was 72.
Donald Wayne Chastain was born on Jan. 19, 1949 in Holdenville, Oklahoma to Everett Martin Chastain, Jr., and Vivian Caroline Peiler Chastain. Everett Chastain, Jr. made the United States Army his career, so the family moved many times from Kentucky, twice to Germany, Missouri, and to Virginia when Everett worked at the Pentagon. They finally moved to Hawaii, home to Vivian, when he retired from the Army.
Don graduated from Waipahu High School in 1968 and joined the Army following his father’s footsteps. He was with the last All Hawaii Company and did Basic Training in Fort Ord, California. After his training at the Aberdeen Proving Grounds in Maryland, Don was transferred to Germany, came home on leave, and married his high school sweetheart, Jeannie. He then left for Vietnam in 1969 at the age of 20.
In 1973 the Chastain family moved to Safford, Arizona where Don’s grandmother (Marie Hart) and step-grandfather (Reid Hart) lived. Safford seemed to be the best place to raise the children and better opportunities for employment. Don got a job in the mechanic shop for the City of Safford and later transferred to the electric department where he was an apprentice lineman, lineman, foremen, and eventually superintendent and retired in 2001.
He loved camping, hunting with his dad and friends, fishing, traveling, and working on old vehicles. If he kept all the vehicles he bought and fixed, he would have a used car lot. Don loved family gatherings and often sang along with his dad and sisters. Everett used to sing and play in a country western band when he was in the Army, so the family was very musical; most played the guitar and Don the drums. Don was a drummer in a rock band in the 1960’s in Hawaii.
One of Don’s passions was helping his son Chad at their Tae Kwon Do studio, C&K Martial Arts Academy. He loved working with the students and was so proud of their positive attitudes and accomplishments. He had such a kind heart and was very patient and well respected by the kids.
Don was so proud of his children and beamed when Donna did the hula (he believed in respecting her heritage) or when Chad received his Black Belts or promotions at work. He loved his grandchildren so and tried to do as much as he could with them.
Don was preceded in death by: his parents, Everett and Vivian; brother, Everett (Buddy); and sister, Susan Powell.
He is survived by: his wife of 52 years, Jeannie; daughter, Donna Chastain (Kevin Ticer); son, Chad Chastain (Reina); grandchildren, Kaiulani Chastain, Maili Weaver and Eliana Chavez; and sister, Patricia Chastain.
Funeral services for Don will be conducted Saturday, April 10, 2021, at 3 p.m., at Vining Funeral Home’s, “Chapel of the Valley,” by Pastor Ron Gonzales. Military honors will be conferred by the Gila Valley Veterans Honor Guard.
Online condolences may be offered at viningfuneralhome.com.
Arrangements are entrusted to Vining Funeral Home.