Colonel Gerald D. (Don) Poe, age 87, passed away on 29 September 2023. He was born August 28, 1936 in McCrory, AR. and grew up in Hot Springs, AR. He resided in San Antonio, TX following his retirement and was a devoted husband, father, and grandfather (Papa).
Don was preceded in death by his son, Gerald Martin Poe, and his parents, Gerald E. and Lillie Mae Poe. He is survived by his wife, Betty of 45 years; their son Gerald (Gerry) D. Poe, Jr., stepdaughter Aimee Denise Everett, son-in-law, David M. Everett, grandchildren Michael B. Everett and Ethan C. Everett; stepdaughter Andrea Presley, and grandchildren Sonia Cordero, Victoria Presley, Mariah Blanton and Jayden Williams; his sisters, Shirley Harris and Barbara Ragsdale and nieces, nephews, great nieces and nephews.
Don graduated from Hot Springs High School, Hot Springs, AR in 1954 and from Henderson State University in Arkadelphia, AR in 1964 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics and continued his education with Master of Arts degree in Management from Webster University, US Army War College and Command and General Staff College. He proudly served his country for 30 years in the US Army earning awards including: the Silver Star, Bronze Star (presented by the Secretary of the Navy), Meritorious Service Medal with 4 oak leaf clusters, 25-Air Medals, Army Commendation Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Viet Nam Service Medal, Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon, Viet Nam Campaign Medal, Republic of Viet Nam Gallantry Cross, Combat Medical Badge, Order of Military Medical Merit, Parachute Badge, Master Army Aviator Badge. Don started his career in 1964 and served 4 years of foreign service including heroically serving in Viet Nam and the Dominican Republic as a DUSTOFF Aeromedical Evacuation pilot. He earned a reputation for volunteering for rescue missions that were treacherous, extremely dangerous, and were often turned down by others. He was the Commander of the 34th Medical Battalion, Ft. Benning, GA., served as the Aviation Consultant to the US Army Surgeon General; was the Chief, Military Science Division/Course Director for the US Army Officer Basic and Officer Advanced courses; was an Instructor in the Medical Field Service School, Academy of Health Sciences, Ft. Sam Houston, TX. He was a Master Army Aviator. Don was a key proponent in the development of the Aeromedical Evacuation System for the State of Louisiana.
Don was a Charter Member of the DUSTOFF Association, a member of Viet Nam Helicopter Pilots Association, and a Founding Member of the Society of Solo Pilots.
In civilian life he enjoyed playing golf with his military cohorts. He attended church regularly and was an active participant in men’s Bible studies and assisting along with his wife in the Women’s Ministry children’s and women’s clothing events, Stuff the Bus for school-age children, handyman assistance to single moms, and essentially anywhere that he was needed.
Don will be honorably laid to rest at Ft. Sam Houston National Cemetery, San Antonio, TX. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to
Don’s funeral is scheduled on Wednesday, 18 Oct at 1230 at Porter Loring Mortuary North, 2102 N. Loop 1604 East, San Antonio, TX 78232. The visitation will be on Monday, 16 Oct, 1800-2000.