Weldon “Don” Ginzel, 83, went to be with the Lord on February 8, 2022, in Cypress, TX. Don was born on June 6, 1938, in Caldwell, TX. Visitation for Weldon Ginzel will be Saturday, February 19, 2022, at Strickland Funeral Home in Caldwell, TX, from 9am until the start of service at 10:30am. Interment will follow at the New Tabor Cemetery.
He graduated from Caldwell High School in 1956 before attending Texas A&M University and joining the Corps of Cadets, Squadron 14. He earned his bachelor’s degree in Business Administration in 1960. During college he met Elaine See, who he married on February 7, 1960, at Faith United Church of Christ in Bryan, TX. They were married nearly 61 years.
Don’s Air Force career spanned 27 years, achieving the rank of Colonel. Early assignments included navigating large transport C-141 planes during overseas missions. He proudly served our country in the Vietnam War, flying surveillance and reconnaissance missions. The allure of Texas brought Don and family back home to Texas where he commanded basic training squadrons at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, TX, from 1974 to1978. As his Air Force career advanced, he completed a master’s degree in Management and Supervision from Central Michigan University in 1974. Leveraging his degrees and experience he was promoted to Director of the Defense General Supply Center in Richmond, VA from 1982 to 1985. During his career Don earned many medals including Distinguished Flying Cross, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, and many others. He retired in Dallas, TX from the military in 1987.
After his military retirement, Don worked in Dallas and Abilene for private sector companies including UTL, Simuflite and Lockheed. Don’s final career stop was with Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART). Initially employed as a contract analyst in 1994, he was promoted to Vice President of DART’s Procurement and Materials Management Department in 2000. His department was instrumental in the development of the rail system for the city of Dallas and surrounding cities. He retired in 2002 after having worked for 42 years.
As a young child Don did not have an easy life. His father passed away when he was almost two years old, leaving his mother and later himself to manage the family farm. At an early age he worked the fields harvesting crops to earn money and would ride his bike into town to buy his own clothes. These early years taught him the value of hard work and defined his character which aligned closely with those of the military. In fact, the core values of the military; honor, respect, integrity, loyalty, and duty mirrored how he lived his life.
Don travelled extensively during his Air Force career, but when he was home, he was content to enjoy a good meal and watch sports on TV. He never met a steak he did not like. He especially enjoyed watching the Little League World Series and the Aggie football games. He loved all sports, and he was a proud father who coached his son’s baseball and football teams. His true passion, however, was golf and his Saturday mornings were often reserved for a round of golf with his buddies. Despite dealing with limitations from an injury to his shoulder he never lost his enthusiasm for the game.
Don was a member of the Central Congregational Church in Dallas, TX and a current member of the Faith Chapel in Cypress, TX. He eagerly volunteered for service projects and enjoyed lending a helping hand. Whether at church or out in public, Don enjoyed meeting people and carrying on a conversation. Even in his last days, despite excruciating pain, he would jokingly interact with medical staff.
Don was preceded in death by his parents, Louis, and Minnie Ginzel; his wife Elaine See Ginzel, his brothers Dennis Ginzel, Franklin Ginzel and Marvin Ginzel; his sisters, Diris Ginzel and Dorothy Ginzel.
He is survived by, sons and daughter-in-law’s, James Ginzel and wife Cheryl of Cypress, TX, Mike Ginzel and wife Debbie of Houston, TX. Brothers and sister-in-law’s, Ervin and Diana See, Frank and Maggie See, and James See all of Snook, TX. Sisters and brothers-in-law, LaVal and Bobby Siegert of Bryan, TX, Sara and James Thompson of Victoria, TX, Marilyn and Larry Zschech of Caldwell, TX. Grandchildren, Emma Elaine Ginzel of Cypress, TX, Sarah Beth Bench of Tomball, TX, Reid Michael Ginzel and wife Leslie of Cypress, TX. Great-grandchildren, Noah and Cooper Bench of Tomball, TX, Olivia Ginzel and Elijah Ginzel of Cypress, TX, and numerous nieces, nephews, other relatives, and friends.
In lieu of flowers memorial donations may be made to the Air Force Aid Society. https://portal.afas.org/donate/
Arrangements have been entrusted to Strickland Funeral Home in Caldwell. We invite you to visit our website at www.stricklandfuneralhomes.com and sign the online register book.