Donn was a veteran of the United States Air Force, and a member of the Iowa Army National Guard. He served in the Air Force during the Korean War, from February 1951-January 1955, as a Statistical Services Supervisor, with he rank of Master Sergeant. Prior to entering the Air Force, he was a member of the Iowa Army National Guard, from June 1948-February 1951. Upon his honorable discharge from the Air Force, he re-enlisted in the Iowa Army National Guard, until his honorable discharge in July 1958.
After Donn completed service to his country, he spent many years in the railroad and trucking industry. He and his wife Paula, owned Forrest Cartage Company in Oelwein, IA, until a medical condition forced him to retire from the trucking industry. At the age of 54, he went back to college and earned an Associate of Arts degree in Paralegal Studies, at Kirkwood Community College. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Public Administration, from Upper Iowa University at age 57. Upon graduation, he worked in Des Moines, IA, on President Reagan's Amnesty program. In January 1988, he was hired as the Army ROTC Cadet Administrator at the University of Northern Iowa, in Cedar Falls, IA. In the summer of 1991, he transferred to the Army ROTC program at Western Carolina University in Cullowhee, NC. He retired from WCU in the spring of 1997. He once told his wife, his favorite job in all his years of working was with the young men and women in the ROTC program. He enjoyed guiding them through the program, and watching them earn their Second Lieutenant Bars at graduation. It gave him so much pride knowing he had a hand in shaping their futures.
He loved music of the 1940s and the Big Band era. Donn also loved ballroom dancing with his wife, Paula. He enjoyed fishing and hunting. Because of his love of pheasant and quail hunting, he spent twenty years breeding and raising English Springer Spaniels. He was known in Iowa, Minnesota and Wisconsin for his wonderful hunting dogs.
Donn was a devoted husband and loving father to his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. His sweet gentle soul and sense of humor will be greatly missed by all who knew him. He is survived by his wife, Paula of 65 years; his daughter, Paige-Alison Beall of Pensacola; son, Keith Forrest of Minot, ND; eight grandchildren; and many great-grandchildren. He is also survived by his brother, Keith Shearer; sister, Barbara Link; half-sisters, Kay Ouverson and Jeanne Skoog; half-brothers, David Kentner (Judy) and Dale Skoog (Judi); and many nieces and nephews. He is preceded in death by his father, Paul Skoog; his mother, Jean Kentner; daughter, Kim Forrest; and half-brother, Mark Kentner.
Special thanks to Debra Tallman of First United Methodist Church of Pensacola for your love and support to Donn and his family throughout Donn's journey with Alzheimer's Disease. Thank you to all the loving nurses and aides at West Florida Hospital's Hospice wing. Thank you to Marti Wells, Laurie Fritz and Briane, also of Covenant Hospice who helped care for him (at home) shortly before his death. He was cremated by Family Funeral and Cremation of Pensacola. His remains will be returned to his mid-western roots of Iowa, where a private memorial service will be held in October to honor his life. In lieu of flowers, the family is requesting any donations be made to: Covenant Care Hospice of Pensacola, 5041 N. 9th Avenue, Pensacola, FL 32504.