James Joseph Donlon Jr., a longtime resident of Shalimar, Florida, peacefully went to be with the Lord, while at his home, with his family by side on Thursday, September 16, 2021. He was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to James J. and Theresa M. Donlon.
James is a retired United States Air Force Vietnam Veteran with many awards and decorations. His service career in the Air Force started at the age of 17, where he became a Weapons Loading Flight Line Expediter and a member of the 8th Tactical Fighter Wing, also known as the Wolf Pack. After 26 years of service, he retired as a Senior Master Sergeant, Superintendent of Communications for the 1972d Communications Group at Eglin AFB.
Upon retiring from the Air Force in 1990, he went on to work for Bridgeway Center, serving the local community in many capacities. He also gave back to the community by coaching Little League Baseball for numerous years, where he impacted the lives of many children. He was an avid Philadelphia sports fan and Penn State fan. He was the best Husband, Dad, Grandpa/Pawpaw, Brother, and Uncle.
James is survived by his loving wife of 37 years, Velva S. Donlon of Shalimar, FL; children, Robert T. (Tina) Donlon of Navarre, FL, Theresa E. Donlon of Ft. Walton Beach, FL, Reese K. (Odessa) Pool of Crestview, FL, Christopher M. (Yuridia) Donlon of San Antonio, TX, Bernard E. Donlon of Norfolk, VA, Bernita S. Everett of Crestview, FL, Robin N. Donlon (Nathan Kelley) of Ft. Walton Beach, FL, and Benjamin K. Donlon of Portland, OR; grandchildren, Marisa Lowe, Tomi Donlon, Mikal Donlon, Riley Donlon, Mikayla Donlon, Katie Hurst, Ayden Pool, Dylan Pool, Brandon Donlon, Andrew Donlon, Elena Donlon, Joseph Donlon, William Donlon, LeiMaile Everett, Kingston Everett, Carsen Kelley, Keanan Donlon, and Kaylin Kelley; great-grandchildren, Breyon Alexander, and Jenaveve Maynard; sister Theresa M. (William) Heston; and numerous cousins, nieces, nephews, and extended family members.
The family would like to thank and acknowledge Dr. Ott, Dr. Persons, Dr. Burkland, Dr. Chaney, Dr. Anastasio, in addition to all the staff and nurses at the 96th Medical Group at Eglin AFB, Fort Walton Beach Medical Center, Kindred at Home, and Emerald Coast Hospice.
A Memorial Service will be held at McLaughlin Mortuary, at 17 Chestnut Ave SE, Fort Walton Beach, FL 32548, on Friday, September 24, 2021, with visitation at 1:00 pm and services to follow at 2:00 pm. A military service will be held at Barrancas National Cemetery, with full honors, at 1 Cemetery Rd, Pensacola, FL 32508 on Monday, October 18, 2021, at 11:30 am.
Flowers are welcome; however, the family suggests contributions be made to the COPD Foundation at www.copdfoundation.org.
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