Don was born and raised in Providence, Rhode Island during the height of the Great Depression. Raised by a hard-working and loving mother, Don learned a grit and determination that served him well throughout his life. At age seventeen, Don enlisted in the US Air Force and, after basic training, was stationed at Truex Field, near Madison, WI. Here he met and married the love of his life, Evelyn (Eve) Lins, who would remain his wife for 63 years. Almost immediately after their marriage, during the Korean War, Don was transferred to Tripoli, Libya, where he spent two years living in a tent in the desert near the Mediterranean Sea. Don and Eve were reunited in Mobile, Alabama, where sons Mike and Steve were born. Don was next transferred to the South Risplip Air Force base near London, England where daughter Linda (Lynn) was born. Two years later, the family moved to Biloxi, MS, where Don received rigorous and challenging training in electronics, with Don graduating among the top of his class. The family later moved to an Air Force base near Spokane, WA where son Pat was born. This was during the height of the Cold War and Don spent extensive time flying in B-52 bombers, including over Alaska and the Canadian Arctic, to near the border of the Soviet Union. The family made a last stop at a remote Air Force base near Glasgow, MT, where Don and Eve made the decision to leave the Air Force, after 14 years of service, for a new start in Middleton, WI.
Back in Wisconsin, Don and his father-in-law Frank Lins built a home for the family in Middleton, while Don worked as an electronics engineer at WHA TV in Madison. Don and Eve were a creative and hardworking couple. The family moved to a forty-acre farm near Oregon, WI where Eve cleverly redesigned an old farmhouse and gardens while Don & Frank extensively rebuilt the home. While Eve worked in cystic fibrosis research at the UW Madison Hospital and raised four teenagers, Don farmed the land, growing hay and corn and raising livestock. Don found time to purchase and renovate a 50’s style motel, converting it into an early version of a micro-housing project while keeping it fully leased. Don took a new job as the lead sound engineer at the Dane County Coliseum, where he worked for twenty years. During this time, Don worked with many of the nation’s top entertainers when they performed at the Coliseum. He had many unique experiences as he helped set up for these acts including chatting with Johnny Cash, playing ping pong with John Denver and getting to know the Grateful Dead. His children got to experience many of the nation’s top rock bands with their backstage passes and from above in the Coliseum’s overhead sound booth.
Don and Eve retired to beautiful Hot Springs Village, Arkansas, where they enjoyed the peaceful scenery, golfed, made special friends and traveled the world until Eve’s death in 2014. Since then, Don lived with family in Boulder, Colorado, but he continued to travel extensively, traveling throughout Colorado, visiting Virginia and Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico and Hawaii and cruising to South America, the Caribbean and Europe. He camped with his family on a 3,000-mile road trip from Colorado to the Pacific Northwest. Don returned often to Madison, WI to visit with his many friends and family.
Don died peacefully at home with his family and favorite dogs by his side. Don is survived by three sons and a daughter: Michael Dwyer, of Tampa, FL, Patrick Dwyer, of Madison, WI, Steven Dwyer, of Lakewood, CO and Linda DeHart, of Boulder, CO. Don is also survived by five grandchildren; Danny Dwyer, Madison, WI, Megan Dwyer, Chicago, IL, Kristen Carmona & Ashley Dwyer, Denver, CO and Claire DeHart, Boulder CO, as well as three great grandchildren; Julio Jr., Calvin and Maya of Denver, CO.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in the name of Don & Eve Dwyer to: Garvan Woodland Gardens, 550 Arkridge Road, Hot Springs, AR 71913. Services will be announced at a later date.
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