Donald L. Brothers, 68, of Palmer, Alaska, died Jan. 31, 2011, at his home. He was born Sept. 18, 1942 in Dayton, a son of the late Clair and Jessie Elizabeth (Neville) Brothers. He attended school in Punxsutawney, graduating with the Punxsutawney High School Class of 1960. On January 26, 1962, in Wichita Falls, Texas, he was united in marriage with his wife of 49 years, Mary Ann Wilson, who survives. He passed from lung cancer diagnosed just before our class reunion last year.
In June 1960, Mr. Brothers began his career serving his country in the U.S. Air Force. In his 21-year career in the Air Force, the family lived in New Mexico, California, Mississippi, Minnesota, Japan and Alaska. He also served in Turkey and Thailand. Following his September 1981 retirement from the Air Force, Mr. Brothers worked for MCI in Salt Lake City, Utah, and Phoenix, Ariz. He retired from MCI in 1998, and the family moved to Capitan, N.M., where he served as commander of the American Legion. In August 2008, Mr. and Mrs. Brothers moved to Alaska, where he enjoyed woodworking, photography, fishing and bowling. Don’s smile was big enough to light up a room.
In addition to his wife, surviving relatives include three children, Donald Scott Brothers and Tamara Ann Brothers, both of Palmer, Alaska, and Robert William Brothers of Wasilla, Alaska; a brother, William Raymond Brothers and wife Maxine of Alexandria, Va.; and his pride and joy, his nine grandchildren, Senior Airman Kevin M. Brothers, stationed in Balad, Iraq, where he serves his country in the U.S. Air Force, Kyle Andrew Brothers, Warren Chadwick McNeil, Connor Justin McNeil, River Dawn Brothers, Jordyn Elisabeth McNeil, Willow Rose Brothers, Cloud William Brothers and Sirius Ash Alexander Brothers. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by a brother, Warren Clair.
Full military honors were conferred upon Mr. Brothers in a graveside service at Fort Richardson National Cemetery near Anchorage, Alaska. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorial contributions be made either to Mat-Su Hospice or the American Cancer Society.
Published in The Mat Su Valley Frontiersman.
Reprinted in The Punxsutawney Spirit.