Leonard Don Berchtold
08/02/1933 - 12/10/2019
Leonard Don Berchtold, our beloved husband, father, grandfather and great grandfather, passed away peacefully at his home with family at his side on December 10, 2019
Don was born in Penrose, Box Elder County, Utah on August 2, 1933 to parents, Lucille Grover Berchtold and Lenard N. Berchtold who died 4 years after their marriage. Later Lucille married his brother Joseph Ersol Berchtold. Don spent his youth working on farms in Penrose and Eden, Utah and Alpine, Wyoming. He attended elementary schools in Thatcher and Bothwell, Utah. He attended high school in Bear River and Weber, Utah and graduated from Star Valley High School in Afton, Wyoming. He was active in sports especially baseball during his high schools years. He attended two years at Utah State University and then while working at Thiokol graduated from Weber State University. He then graduated from BYU with a Master’s Degree in Business Administration. Most of this schooling was completed at night school.
Don joined the US Air Force January 10, 1952 shortly after leaving High School and was assigned to become a gunner on a B-29 bomber during the Korean War. After the war ended he became a refueling boom operator on a KC-97 tanker and served there for 3 1/2 years. He was stationed in many places including Goose Bay, Labrador, England, Iceland, Greenland and Alaska.
When the Korean War ended Don was transferred to a US Air Base in Topeka, Kansas and on the date of December 31, 1953 He met the love of his life, Carol Evelyn Giffen in Kansas City, Missouri at a New Year’s Eve LDS dance. On February 17, 1954 Don and Carol were married in Independence, Missouri, the birthplace of Carol and her youthful home. Don and Carol then moved to Lincoln, Nebraska where they lived together in trailer homes until his military service ended in August 1956. After his discharge they moved to Brigham City, Utah
Don went to work for Thiokol Chemical Corporation. His first position was as a Junior Engineer, then a Senior Scientist, and finally Manager of an Outer Space Research Group. Following are a list of his inventions:
1- A “Precise Control Variable Thrust Solid Propellant Rocket Motor” used to defeat Russia’s anti- ballistic missile system and allow our weapons to waste their incoming rockets.
2- An Igniter which could be protected to re-ignite a new Thiokol Stop Start Motor.
3- A new Rescue Flare for a GATX test facility in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
Don and Carol were married in the Logan Temple and their lives were dedicated to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Following are some of his accomplishments. Don served six missions for the LDS Church. One was a Missionary assignment for 2 years in Brigham City, two were missions in Australia, one in Perth and one in Sydney, one in Independence, Missouri in the Physical Facilities Department and two Family History missions in Salt Lake City. Don also served as an ordinance worker in three Temples, one in Salt Lake City, for five years, one in Sydney, Australia for one year and one in Brigham City, Utah for 3 years. Don and Carol served as ordinance workers in the Salt Lake, Sydney, Australia and Brigham City temples for a total of 9 1/2 years. Don served as a councilor to four separate bishops and was a High Councilor for 5 years and his greatest love has been Family History work. He wrote 9 books and found 42,000 ancestors and has over 75 descendants. His genealogy legacy will be carried on by some of his children.
Don and Carol were blessed with 10 children, 5 adopted and five natural born.
Don was preceded in death by their son, William Don, his mother Lucille, and fathers Lenard and Ersol Berchtold, brother, Robert Berchtold and a sister, Moana Berchtold Jensen. Surviving are his wife, Carol, one brother, Joe Berchtold. Children: Robert (Sandy Tate) Berchtold, Debra Berchtold Call, Kevin Berchtold, Andy (Michelle Payne) Berchtold, Jenae Osman (Charles), Julie Hulse (Craig), Ruth Brown (Jeff), Tom (Julie Andersen) Berchtold,
A viewing will be held on December 14th, 2019 at 11:00 am to 12:45 pm at 895 North 625 West, Brigham City, 22nd Ward Chapel. The funeral will be held on December 14th, 2019 at 1:00 pm, at 895 North 625 West, Brigham City, 22nd Ward Chapel. Interment will be at the Brigham City Cemetery on December 14th, 2019 at 2:15 pm.