Donald Eugene Risen of Modesto was born on July 20,1927 in The Dalles, Oregon, the first-born child of Eugene and Grace Risen. He was preceded in death by his parents and a brother, Edward. He is survived by his wife, Elsie, and three children, Stan Risen of Ceres, Susan Youngman of North Carolina and Larry Risen of Southlake, Texas. He is also survived by eight grandchildren, five great grandchildren and six of his siblings.
Don enlisted into the Army in 1945 at Fort Lewis, Washington. He was initially trained as a surgical technician. He later reenlisted in the United States Air Force where he attended the School of Aviation Medicine at Randolph Air Force Base in Texas and graduated to medical air evacuation. His assignments included service in the South Pacific and Alaskan theaters of operation.
When the Korean War began, he was serving in Japan under General Douglas MacArthur and was subsequently assigned in September 1950 to duty in both South and North Korea and was involved in the Hungnam evacuation of December 1950.
In September 1955 he married Elsie Jeske in Portland, Oregon and then resided in Moses Lake, Washington. In June 1956 they moved to Laon, France for a three-year tour of duty where the two oldest children Stan and Susan were born. Their third child, Larry, was born in California. In 1964 they returned to Europe for a tour of duty at a Security Service Installation on the Island of Crete. Their travel took them throughout the Middle East, Africa, and Europe.
Following his military retirement in 1969, the family moved from Craig AFB, Alabama to California, settling in Modesto in 1976 where he managed Ralston Tower and Marple Manor, and eventually became a regional manager for the Retirement Housing Foundation of Long Beach. Don retired from his second career in August 1992 and remained active in various volunteer capacities including Adult Literacy tutoring, assisting Medical Ambassadors and working at his church. Don was a devoted family man and a lover of antique cars. He authored several books covering cars, military and family.
Don was always active in his church wherever he lived, and over the years served as a Deacon and in various teaching and leading Bible Study capacities. He and Elsie have attended Crosspoint Community Church, Modesto since 1988.
A private Memorial Service will be held on Monday, August 3rd at 2:30 PM at Big Valley Grace Community Church. Due to social distancing, this event will be livestreamed. To participate in the livestream event, go to BigValleyGrace.org and click on the "Watch Live" link. There will be a private burial the following day at the San Joaquin National Cemetery in Santa Nella, CA.
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