OBITUARY

Don Edward Echols

Don Edward Echols, of Birmingham, Ala., died on January 15, 2019 at the age of 93. Mr. Echols was born in Smackover, Arkansas and raised in Southern California. He graduated from El Monte High School where he was an accomplished basketball player, wrestler, swimmer, and body surfer. Prior to his death he was one of the oldest living Eagle Scouts. In May 1943, Mr. Echols and his twin brother, John enlisted in the United States Army Air Force and were assigned to the 458th Bomb Group stationed in Horsham St. Faith near Norwich, England. Among many commendations, he was awarded the U.S. Air Medal and Purple Heart for his distinguished service during World War II. In January 2016, he was awarded the Legion of Honor Medal (Chevalier Class) by the nation of France for his heroic participation in the 1945 liberation of the country. Mr. Echols was wounded in action on August 25, 1944 and eventually returned to the United States where he continued to serve as an aerial gunnery instructor. In 1949 he graduated from the University of Alabama and began a distinguished career as an executive with General Motors Acceptance Corporation. Mr. Echols was a member of Trinity United Methodist Church, Homewood. Don Edward Echols was preceded in death by his parents, John Elliot and Carita Foreman Echols; his twin brother, John, Jr.; and two grandchildren, Jason Gary Green and Anna Echols Archambault. Survivors include his wife of 70 years, Norma West Echols of Birmingham; daughter and son-in-law, Dona and Gary Green of Birmingham; son and daughter-in-law, Edward and Jody Echols of Greensboro, North Carolina; sister, Pat Echols Brown of Dayton, Ohio; grandchildren, Jan Keiser (James), Carson Green (Kelly), Katherine Echols Speaker (Edward), Mollie Echols, and Collier Echols; and great-grandchildren, Jesse Keiser Andrews (Caleb), Jake Keiser, Jackson Keiser, Carson Green, Jr., Reily Green, Edward Archambault, and Tillar Speaker. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to Big Oak Ranch, P.O. Box 507, Springville, Alabama 35146; UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, CB # 7295, UNC-CH, Chapel Hill, NC 27599-7295 (noting Colorectal Cancer Research Fund #373734); or The Children’s Cardiomyopathy Foundation (CCF) at dev.childrenscardiomyopathy.org. Services will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, January 19, 2019 at Heritage Chapel Funeral Home, 5200 Old Birmingham Highway, Tuscaloosa, Alabama 35404. Visitation will be held prior to the service, from 10:00-10:50 a.m. Arrangements handled by Heritage Chapel Funeral Home & Cremations, a Dignity Memorial Provider. Condolences may be offered at www.HeritageChapelTuscaloosa.com.

  • FAMILY

  • Survivors include his wife of 70 years, Norma West Echols of Birmingham; daughter and son-in-law, Dona and Gary Green of Birmingham; son and daughter-in-law, Edward and Jody Echols of Greensboro, North Carolina; sister, Pat Echols Brown of Dayton, Ohio; grandchildren, Jan Keiser (James), Carson Green (Kelly), Katherine Echols Speaker (Edward), Mollie Echols, and Collier Echols; and great-grandchildren, Jesse Keiser Andrews (Caleb), Jake Keiser, Jackson Keiser, Carson Green, Jr., Reily Green, Edward Archambault, and Tillar Speaker.

Services

  • Visitation Saturday, January 19, 2019
  • Celebration of Life Service Saturday, January 19, 2019
REMEMBERING

Don Edward Echols

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