Donald Dwight Seath, 79, a retired aerospace engineering professor, died Tuesday, May 3, 2011. A memorial service will begin at 3 p.m. Thursday, May 12, at Ridglea Presbyterian Church. Don was born Feb. 20, 1932, in Manhattan, Kan., to Dwight and Martha Seath. He grew up in Baton Rouge, La., and graduated from high school in Lexington, Ky.; his father was a college professor in each of those localities. He graduated from Iowa State University with a BS in agricultural engineering and met and married Cynthia Napier of Fort Madison, Iowa. He completed four years of Air Force ROTC and was commissioned a second lieutenant upon graduation. He served three years in the U.S. Air Force as a pilot and was stationed in Dreux, France, for half of that time, flying cargo from Athens, Greece, to U.S. bases across North Africa, the Middle East and Turkey. After his discharge from the Air Force, he returned to graduate school at Iowa State and earned a master's degree in aeronautical engineering and a Ph.D. in nuclear and aerospace engineering. In 1963, Don began work in the aerodynamics section of General Dynamics in Fort Worth, and 2 1/2 years later took a position as a professor at Arlington State College, which later became the University of Texas at Arlington. He taught aerospace engineering there for 45 years, 11 of which he also served as department chairman. His 1958 yellow Volkswagon bug became a fixture on campus. He was a deacon and elder at Ridglea Presbyterian Church, where he sang tenor in the choir for 48 years and chaired the committee that acquired the first pipe organ for the church. He enjoyed building, repairing and repurposing things in his home workshop and was often told that he could mend anything but a broken heart. He maintained a lifelong interest in flight and especially reveled in flying Charlie, his Beechcraft Bonanza. Don and Cynthia, with her brother, Bill, and wife, Kathleen, traveled the seven continents for almost 20 years, creating many wonderful memories. Special thanks are due Melanie Hohman, Covenant Hospice nurse, for her care and compassion. He is survived by his wife of 56 years, Cynthia; daughter, Martha Seath Kisling and husband, Todd, and grandchildren, Scott and Lisa of Colorado Springs, Colo., and granddaughter, Laura Kisling Moore and husband, Eric, of Charleston, S.C.; son, Douglas Napier Seath and Kathy Swett of Kalaheo, Hawaii; and sister, Dorothy Teater and husband, Robert, of Columbus, Ohio, and their family. If desired, donations may be made to the UTA Aerospace Engineering Scholarship Fund or the Ridglea Presbyterian Church Chancel Choir.
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