Don Schoeni was born on June 23, 1930 to Virgil and Beulah Schoeni of rural Kensington, Kansas. He attended the eighth-grade country school and graduated Kensington High School. As a senior at the University of Kansas he met his future wife. After graduation Don enlisted in the Air Force and was qualified for pilot training. After basic pilot he was sent to Navigator School. Graduating #1, he was allowed to choose his assignment, so he chose Grenier AFB in New Hampshire. That was the beginning of twenty years and 10,000 hours of flying status, landing at such places as Thule, Greenland, Hawaii or New Zealand. While stationed in Vietnam he was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, Bronze Star, and 14 Air Medals. From there Don was assigned to McChord AFB in Washington. While there he retired in October 1972 as a Major, finishing 20 years of flying. The family then moved back to Kansas settling in Shawnee. Don went to work for an insurance company in the underwriting department.
Now with a regular schedule he was able to become active in Masonry, joining the Ancient Form Lodge and eventually a Master of the Lodge. He worked with the other Kansas Masons to form the Kansas Masonic Foundation. A major project was helping the KU Med Center apply for, and receive, National Cancer Institute certification. Don served on the board for 27 years. When at the annual meeting it was announced he was retiring and that a scholarship had been established in his name. He was surprised.
After retiring from the insurance company, he and his wife moved to Grove, Oklahoma where he continued Masonic activity with the Grove Lodge #189 and became a Master there also.
Donald D. Schoeni passed away at home on Friday, December 18, 2020.
He is preceded in death by his parents. Surviving family includes his wife Donna, son Doug, daughters: Diane McLennon, Deborah Barnes, grandson Joseph Barnes and a brother Terry Schoeni.
Funeral services will be 2 p.m., Monday, December 28, 2020 at the First United Methodist Church in Grove. Private family interment will take place Tuesday at Fort Scott National Cemetery. Services are under the direction of Worley Luginbuel Funeral Home. Online condolences may be made at www.honoringmemories.com or on the Worley Luginbuel Facebook page.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Masonic Lodge 187 in Grove, OK or the Kansas Masonic Foundation (221 SW 33rd Street, Suite 100; Topeka, Kansas 66611-2431)