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Donald Gleichman

April 07, 2024 - 00:00
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  • Donald Gleichman
  • Donald Gleichman

Donald William Gleichman, 90, of McAlester, passed away Sunday, March 17, 2024, peacefully at home with family.

A celebration of life is scheduled for 3 p.m. Saturday, April 27, at Life Church, 1300 S. George Nigh Expressway, McAlester.

Donald “ Gramps” Gleichman was born June 23, 1933, in Okarche to William and Anna Clara (Biller) Gleichman. After graduating from Okarche High School, he attended Concordia Teacher’s College in Seward, Neb.

Here he would meet his future lifetime sweetheart, Peggy K. Weebe, during his freshman year.

He was drafted into the United States Army in 1953 and trained as a helicopter mechanic.

After completing training, he was, however, assigned to atomic testing at Camp Desert Rock, Nev.

Don was discharged honorably from the United States Army in late 1955.

Ten days later, he and Peggy married on Dec. 30, 1955, in Inglewood, Calif.

He jokingly told people that he went from “Yes, Sir” to “Yes, Dear” in a short amount of time.

He also noted that they had a short honeymoon, as each had to go back to work.

“So, we made it a 63-plus year honeymoon, instead!” Don said.

Living in a suburb of Los Angeles, Don worked as a mechanic for Western Airlines and, with additional schooling, was awarded his airframe and power plant license.

In 1957, he was hired by his alma mater, Northrop Institute of Technology, and would teach aviation avionics and electronics to future aircraft mechanics for the next 16 years.

In 1973 Don, Peggy and their three kids moved to Wilburton where he began ranching and Peggy continued teaching elementary, high school and college courses.

They were members of Trinity Lutheran Church in McAlester.

Don enjoyed working hard on the ranch, spending time with friends and family and playing cards.

Yet Don was mostly known for helping whomever he could and sharing his faith in God.

Don is survived by his sons Michael Gleichman and wife Jean and Kurt Gleichman and wife Hillary; grandchildren Zach Edwards and wife Candace, Regina Nason and husband Steven, Seth Gleichman, Isaiah McIntosh and wife Ashley, Victoria Gleichman, Katherine Jones and husband Justin, Rebecca Gleichman, Ashby Mizell and husband Dan, and Chloe Olivetti and husband Joseph; 17 great-grandchildren and two great-great-grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by his parents William and Anna (Biller) Gleichman; brothers George Gleichman and John Gleichman; his wife of 63 ½ years Peggy (Weebe) Gleichman; daughter Roxann Gleichman; and great-grandchild Hunter Baumann.