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Obituary: Donald Lott, Columbus

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Donald E. "Don" Lott, 89, of Columbus, died at 1:54 p.m. Sunday, March 16, 2014 at Silver Oaks Health Campus.

Don was born in Indianapolis, August 26, 1924, the son of the late Edward John and Mamie Thomas Lott. He married Shirley Anne Harkins on June 28, 1946 in Indianapolis. She preceded him in death on June 18, 2008.

Don attended schools in Indianapolis, graduated from Purdue University in 1951 with his BSEE, where he had served as an ROTC instructor and later earned a master's degree.

He was employed with Cummins Engine Company as an electrical engineer for many years, retiring on April 1, 1987. He had served in many departments as design and project engineer, account and sales manager and finally as manager of their Defense Products Division.

Don was a longtime member of St. Peters Lutheran Church, and Golden K Kiwanis Club, was a former board member at Grandview Lake and Otter Creek and was a member of the Atterbury-Bakalar Air Museum.

Don served in the U.S. Army from 1943-46, was in the Ryukyus Island campaign in the invasion of Okinawa that began in September of 1944. He was with Battery A of the 779th Anti-Aircraft Artillery Battalion. Don received the American Theater Ribbon, Asiatic-Pacific Theater Ribbon with a bronze star, Good Conduct Medal and the Victory Medal-World War II. Don was later recalled to duty to serve in the U.S. Air Force during the Korean War.

Don and Shirley spent many years living at Grandview Lake where family and friends were always welcome. In addition to volunteering for other charitable organizations, in recent years he enjoyed selling ducks for the Kiwanis Duck Race at the downtown farmer’s market and leading tours at the airport museum.

Don was a “people person”, yet humble; he endured a lot during his lifetime as did many other members of what has been referred to as the “Greatest Generation”. He will be truly missed by those who loved him.

He is survived by daughters, Kim (Dr. Ken) Van Arsdall of Columbus and Chris (Jim) Harpool of Simpsonville, S.C.; grandchildren, Kara (Bart) Bishop of West Lafayette, Kelsey (Ike) DeClue of Columbus, Colby (Scott) Lakas and Clay Harpool, all of Auburn, Ala., and Collin Harpool of Atlanta, Ga.; and great-grandchildren, Owen, Ellie and Ian Bishop of West Lafayette and Nolan and Evey DeClue of Columbus.

Don was preceded in death by his parents, his wife, and an infant brother.

In keeping with Don's wishes, cremation is planned with a private family inurnment at a later date. Arrangements were made by Myers-Reed Chapel on 25th Street.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Atterbury-Bakalar Air Museum Building Fund or the General Fund, 4742 Ray Boll Blvd., Columbus, IN 47203. Online condolences may be sent to the family at

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