Donald L. Stiver, Jr.

Age 75, of Merritt Island, FL, passed away March 31, 2019. He was born June 9, 1943, in Alexandria, LA, to the late Donald, Sr. and Ann Stiver.

Donald graduated from Charlotte High School, Charlotte, MI and then attended Michigan State University.  He then enlisted in the United States Army, served a tour in Vietnam, and retired as a Lieutenant Colonel after 20 years of honorable service.  While in the Army, he attended the Navy Test Pilot School.  After retirement he was an avid airplane builder and pilot as a member of the Experimental Aviation Association.  He received his bachelor’s degree in economics from St. Martin’s University and his master’s in systems management from USC. After his career in the Army, Donald worked for several government contractors (FMC, Lockheed Martin and DRS).

He is survived by his wife, Phyllis; children, Carri F. (James) Grady of Viera, FL, and Sarah C. Stiver of Alpharetta, GA; grandchildren, Katherine E. Banks-Smith (Travis) and Matthew D. Banks.  Donald has 1 brother and 3 sisters.

The Funeral Mass will be celebrated at Noon on Saturday, April 6, 2019, at St. Mary Cathedral, Lansing, MI. The Rite of Committal will follow in St. Joseph Catholic Cemetery, Lansing. His family will receive friends beginning at 11:30 at the church. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Arrangements are by the Estes-Leadley Greater Lansing Chapel. Online condolences may be left for his family at

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29 Messages to “Donald L. Stiver, Jr.

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Rowena Wotring Collins
April 1, 2019 at 8:35 pm

Donald was the best Drum Major the Charlotte Orioles Marching Band ever had! Smart and funny, a good conversationalist, Donald will be missed.

Carri Stiver Grady
April 3, 2019 at 11:46 pm

I know your name from my dad-so nice of you to remember him. I’ve seen the video of him”high stepping”! He was amazing.

Wayne Eleazer
April 2, 2019 at 9:59 am

We certainly will miss Don very much at the Merritt Island airport. He was the “leader of the pack.”

I have made a contribution to St Jude Children Research Hospital in his memory.

Carri Grady
April 3, 2019 at 11:48 pm

Thank you Wayne. He loved every second he spent there-i always knew where to find my daddy.

Tom Lavin
April 2, 2019 at 12:28 pm

Don was a great leader, boss and all around wonderful person to be associated with! He will be missed!

Carri Grady
April 3, 2019 at 11:48 pm

Thank you Tom

Carri Grady
April 3, 2019 at 11:49 pm

Thank you

Kathy and John Ward
April 2, 2019 at 12:37 pm

Don was one of the most positive people I’ve ever known. He was a joy to work with for 10 years at Lockheed Martin Corporation. We shared a love of helicopters and army aviation. He will be missed.
Kathy and I will be sending a donation to the Saint Jude foundation.

Carri Grady
April 3, 2019 at 11:50 pm

Thank for remembering our dad and the donation.

Michael Cooper
April 2, 2019 at 3:06 pm

Rest in peace, brother.

Randy Means
April 3, 2019 at 7:54 am

It was a honor to call him my friend. His legacy will continue through his family. A leader all the way.

Carri Grady
April 3, 2019 at 11:52 pm

Thank you Randy. We will miss him so very much.

Richard and Judy Todd
April 3, 2019 at 11:53 am

Blue skies, fair weather, and following seas to a fine gentleman.
Prayers for the family.

Carri Grady
April 3, 2019 at 11:53 pm

Thank you

Ronald F Livingston
April 3, 2019 at 12:58 pm

Don was our maintenance officer in Vietnam and he did a great job with an impossible task. When I returned to Ft. Carson, CO after Vietnam Don was my commanding officer. Don was a great guy and so funny. He will truly be missed by all that knew him. God Speed Don.

Apache 29

Cheryl Bold
April 3, 2019 at 5:09 pm

Dear Phyllis,
Please accept my sympathy on the loss of your husband. May he Rest In Peace.

Leila Whitinger
April 4, 2019 at 12:40 pm

Phyllis and family members,
Please accept my sincere condolences on your loss. I still remember Don as a good friend from high school and am very sorry to hear this sad news.

Nolan Cooper
April 5, 2019 at 4:19 pm

Uncle Don was always so special to me. I am sorry i never got a chance to say goodbye.

Randall Block
April 5, 2019 at 11:11 pm

I did not speak too often to Don, but when I did it was always a pleasant conversation and he
was always helpful and reassuring, He flew and taught by proper example, I will miss him very much,,,,

Randall Block

Robert P. Larson
April 6, 2019 at 2:31 am

It is with great sadness to learn of Don’s passing. He was an outstanding officer and a wonderful person who had my total respect and admiration.

I had the opportunity to work directly for Don, in his maintenance platoon, during the last months of my 69-70 tour in Vietnam. Don’s stature, expertise and ever present humor were an inspiration for me and all those around him.

I had the pleasure to have seen him again at last year’s A troop reunion. He was the same Don I knew many years ago. I knew he had been ill but as the true soldier he was he was optimistic and never let on to the extent of his illness.

I will miss him.

Apache 19

Susanne Carsten
April 7, 2019 at 10:16 am

Terry and I just learned of Don’s passing. We worked with him at Lockheed Martin. He was a genuine gentleman, smart and a delightful person, one we were honored to know. Sincere condolences to his wife and family at this sad time.

Beverley Newton
April 7, 2019 at 10:56 am

RIP Don…you will be missed and remembered by many. Everyone has a special story about their meeting and/or interactions with Don. He was unforgettable.

I will raise a glass to you as I watch the setting sun over the ocean: Fly High dear friend, Fly High!!


Thomas Newman
April 8, 2019 at 2:28 pm

Our thoughts and prayers go out to Don’s family. His humor, wit and political discussions will be missed at KCOI. It’s with great joy and pleasure to call him friend. Fly high and “Cruise” fast my friend.

Georgia hager
April 12, 2019 at 4:31 pm

Just loved Don such a wonderful man. miss him every sunday morning for breakfast with the. great. group of friends that thought the world of him will be missed dearly my fellow. Michiganer.from everyone. at the Cozy Corner Café in Merritt Island

Joan Saums Brown
April 13, 2019 at 1:21 pm

Don had a wonderful sense of humor. I remember being in the band with him and enjoying his energy. God bless your family in the loss of a great man.

Donna E. Tessier
April 19, 2019 at 6:08 pm


I was saddened to learn of Don’s passing. I have so many fond memories of our time spent together as our husbands were young flight school trainees. The many restaurants we sampled in Savannah, GA, the long train ride to Atlanta from Savannah. Makes me smile as I remember all our outings and the laughter. Your stopover in Seattle when on your Alaska trip was a special recent visit with you two. Please know you and your family are in my thoughts and prayers. Fondly, Donna Tessier.

hanan and taly vax
April 21, 2019 at 6:42 am

Don was our class mate in USNTPS a real leader and friend a funny guy that could make even the most stressful situations look easy with his outstanding sense of humor.
we will always cherish and remember him with a smile.
our condolences to dear Phillis and daughters.
Tally and Hanan (Israel)

Carri Grady
April 30, 2019 at 5:22 pm

I was just printing out all replies and saw yours! I remember your family very well, and how fond my parents were of you. Thank you for the nice comments. They are all cherished! Love Carri

Billy White
July 1, 2019 at 11:13 am

I was saddened to just learn of Don’s Death. My most heartfelt condolences to his family.

I served in the Army with Don — went to Flight School in Fort Wolters, TX with him and once again we were together in Alexancria, VA just prior to my retirement.from the Army. I saw him at various conferences and meetings but had lost touch. For whatever reason I though of him yesterday and looked for him on face book and then learned this news.

Although, I did not keep in touch with Don I held him in high esteem and was always delighted to visit with him.

RIP Dear Aviator Brother Don.


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