Leendert Don

October 8, 1924July 13, 2021

COLUMBIA - Leendert Don, 96, passed away on Tuesday, July 13, 2021. A private family celebration of life service will be held at Dunbar Funeral Home, Northeast Chapel. Interment will be held at a later date at St. Mary’s Church, Lymm, England. Born in Vlaardingen, the Netherlands, on October 8, 1924, Leendert was one of the four sons and three daughters of the late Leendert Don and Trijntje (van der Zwan) Don. He was preceded in death by his parents, all of his siblings, and his beloved wife of 54 years, Mavis Joan. While living in Jacksonville FL, he was a member of the Masons, Shriners, VFW, DAV, and Royal British Legion. He loved formal ballroom dancing and performing the Waltz, Foxtrot, Rumba, and Cha Cha. He and Mavis enjoyed dancing at the Cloister with friends. He thoroughly enjoyed his life at sea and traveled to many places around the world. Leendert went to sea as a galley boy at the age of 14. He rose through the ranks to achieve the rank of captain with a Master license from the U.S. Merchant Marine. The last ship he captained before retiring in 1986 was the American Pioneer, which, at 810 feet long, was one of the largest container ships in the world at that time. Leendert served in the Dutch Merchant Marine as a seaman in WWII. He served in the U.S. Army as a tank commander during the Korean War and, soon after that, proudly became a U.S. citizen. He later served in the U.S. Merchant Marine during the Vietnam War. All three conflicts placed him in direct harm’s way. He was a very courageous man to say the least. His service medals include: Pacific War Zone, Atlantic War Zone, Mediterranean Middle East War Zone, Vietnam Service Medal, Korean Service Medal, Victory Medal, WWII War Medal, U.S. Merchant Marine, and National Defense Medal. Survivors include sons, Neil (Barbara) Skipper of Lugoff, SC, Duane (Cindi) Skipper of Wylie, TX, and Roderic Don (Jeanne Kelly) of Beaufort, SC, and daughter, Amanda Don of Albuquerque, NM. Also surviving are five grandchildren, eight great-grandchildren, nieces, Marise (Tony) Johnson in England, Nell Louwers of the Netherlands, and Jorja Eriksen of Norway, and nephew, Michael (Lisa) Broome. Memorials may be made to the American Heart Association – or to the Alzheimer’s Association – Dunbar Funeral Home, Northeast Chapel, is assisting the family. Memories may be shared at


  • American Heart Association
  • Alzheimer's Association


  • Memorial Service

    Saturday, July 24, 2021

  • Visitation Following Service

    Saturday, July 24, 2021


Leendert Don

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Ed Louwers

July 19, 2021

To Leendert Don:
Dear Leendert,
Whatever happened and wherever we moved, we stayed friends in good and in bad times.
Your memory will live on for ever.
Ed Louwers

To: Family:
May the sorrow you feel in your heart be lightened by the love that surrounds you.
Ed+Marianne Louwers