Erskine Grier Donald III
April 25, 1940 – August 10, 2023
Erskine Grier Donald III “Don” went to his heavenly home on August 10, 2023. Don is preceded in death by his parents, Erskine Grier Donald, Jr. and Flora Ledbetter Donald and his brother, William Harris “Bill” Donald.
He is survived by his loving wife of sixty years, Mary Charles Donald; three sons: Donny Donald (Sharon); Brooks Donald (Elaine); Scott Donald (Ginny); seven grandchildren: Alex Donald, Alena Donald, Jacob Donald; Brooke Donald McGraw (Hutson), Trent Donald; Lyston Donald and Ruthie Donald; two great grandchildren; Anne Brooks McGraw and Grier McGraw.
Don was born April 25, 1940 in Greenville, Alabama and grew up in Pine Apple where he developed his love of the outdoors with his father and his brother. Don was a 1958 honors graduate of Moore Academy and after graduation enrolled at the University of Alabama where he majored in Aerospace Engineering and graduated in 1962. After graduation from Alabama, he accepted a position with NASA and began his career in Hampton, Virginia.
In 1963, Don married Mary Charles Turberville and they moved to Huntsville, Alabama where he was employed by NASA and worked extensively on the Saturn V rocket that was instrumental in the Apollo moon missions. He was a NASA honoree at the launching of Apollo 11. After the Apollo missions, he was involved with the Space Shuttle program and the Hubble space telescope.
Upon retirement from NASA in 1992, Don moved back to Pine Apple with Mary Charles and continued a full-time career as a land broker for Great Southern Land Company. In addition to his work with the Alabama Baptist Historical Commission (ABHC), Don served as deacon chairman at Bethsaida Baptist Church in Furman and was instrumental in moving the first home of The Alabama Baptist to the church grounds in 2022 for preservation as part of the Furman National Historic District. He was involved with the Wilcox County Historical Society. These were all passions of his and he continued until the day he was called home to Heaven.
Don loved sports, especially football, basketball, and baseball. He was very involved coaching youth basketball and baseball teams in Huntsville. He also enjoyed playing in various basketball leagues in his younger days in Huntsville.
Don was an avid outdoorsman who loved working on his farm in Pine Apple as well as hunting and fishing. Turkey hunting was his passion, and he completed the “Grand Slam” of turkey hunting in March 2019. He also loved spoiling his grandchildren with various fishing and hunting trips and sharing his love and knowledge of the outdoors.
Don leaves a lasting legacy to his family and many friends through his walk with the Lord, his treatment of people and his love of community.
Visitation with the family was held on Monday, August 14th from 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM at Dunklin Funeral Home located at 63 Camden Bypass in Camden, Alabama. A Celebration of Life was held on Tuesday, August 15th at 10:00 AM at Bethsaida Baptist Church in Furman, Alabama with a graveside service held at Mt Moriah Cemetery in Monterey, Alabama immediately following.
Memorials may be made to Moore Academy Restoration Fund and sent to the following address:
Moore Academy Restoration Fund
24100 Highway 21 North
Beatrice, AL 36425-4812
For online condolences, please visit www.dunklinfh.com.