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Donald D. Vinson

Surrounded by loved ones, Donald went home to be with the Lord in the early hours of Sept. 11. He was 91 years old. Donald was born July 19, 1930 in Jackson County, Tennessee to Sid and Gossie (Crabtree) Vinson. He was one of 10 children and was fortunate to grow up in a loving home. Donald often shared stories from his childhood with his own family. His surviving siblings are Jo Proffitt, Irene Denton, Doyle Vinson (wife Pat), and Dowl Vinson. All reside in Tennessee. As a young man he ventured to Barberton, for better employment opportunities. He met Regina Rafferty and they were married Aug. 27, 1948 in a lovely garden wedding. Shortly prior to Donald’s death they marked their seventy-third wedding anniversary. Donald was employed by Babcock & Wilcox, located in Barberton, as a welder for thirty-five years. He enjoyed his career and took pride in his work. He participated in the assembling of missile tubes for the Trident Nuclear Submarines. This was a huge, critical project he delighted in recalling. Although an active man with many interests, Donald had a clear passion for golfing and excelled at the game. Lucky for him his favorite course wasn’t too far from his home. He loved every minute he spent there. Donald gained immense pleasure caring for his home and property over his many years. He enjoyed tending to his sizable garden and many flower beds; feeding and watching the turkey, deer and birds visiting his yard; and working or tinkering about on any needed task. Donald built two homes in his lifetime for his family one in Barberton and then the current family home in New Franklin. A gentle, resilient, authentic man, Donald was not a pretentious person. He couldn’t abide dishonesty and strongly believed in the principle of fairness. He was a staunch supporter of the underdog and couldn’t stand to witness or hear about anyone suffering. He’ll be sorely missed by his loved ones. Donald was preceded in death by his daughter Deborah First and sons-in-law John Earnsberger and Dale First. Besides his wife Regina, he is survived by daughters Linda Earnsberger and Susan (Gerry) Ross; Granddaughter Regina (Michael) McCulligan; Grandson Jason (Angie) First; and great-grandsons Spenser McCulligan and Dalton and Hunter First. He always had the love, care and support of his family. Donald was known as “Grandpa” to many others. 

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