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Donald Paul Cohron

Posted July 23, 2014 in Boone, Obituaries, Grimes

September 17, 1923 – July 15, 2014

Don Cohron

Don Cohron

Donald Paul Cohron, 90, died July 15, 2014 at Heritage House in Atlantic, Iowa.

The son of Arch Montgomery (A.M.) Cohron and Bernice Geil Cohron, he was born September 17, 1923 in Des Moines, Iowa. At the age of 10 he started working for his father as water boy, then truck driver, learning the ropes of bridge building. He graduated from Lincoln High School in Des Moines, Iowa in January, 1942, and at age 18 was made a full partner with his father in their bridge building business, A.M. Cohron & Son, Inc. Something he was particularly proud of was that he and his father built a bridge and the tidal basin in front of the Washington monument in Washington, D.C and it still stands today. He then attended Iowa State University and was in the Civil Engineering Program and he continued working during breaks and summers for A.M. Cohron & Son, Inc. He enlisted in the army in 1943 and was selected to go to Officer’s Training School, graduating as a Second Lieutenant in the Army Transportation Corps. He was honorably discharged in 1946 with the rank of First Lieutenant. He married Ardath Phyllis McCombs on January 5, 1946 in Des Moines, Iowa.

When his father tragically drowned on a bridge site in 1951, Don took over the leadership and Presidency of the company and went on to build bridges not only in Iowa, but also in Nebraska and Kansas. Don became very active in the Iowa Associated General Contractor’s Association serving on numerous committees over the years and also holding the positions of Secretary, Treasurer, Vice-President, and finally President in 1976. He was also elected to be a director on the National AGC board. He received an award for Meritorious Service to the organization’s Board of Directors from 1973 to 1985. AGC conveyed the title of Honorary Member to him in recognition of his years of service. AGC of America awarded him Life Director in recognition of his service to the industry. In 2003 Don was inducted into the Iowa AGC Hall of Fame. He was an innovative thinker and developed several time and labor savings techniques and practices still used in the construction industry today.

In 1978 he and his wife, Ardath, bought a second home on Lake of the Ozarks near Laurie, Missouri, spending half their retirement time there until she passed away on June 17, 1986. While living on the lake Don enjoyed fishing, boating, woodworking, traveling and entertaining family and friends. On April 4, 1987 he married Mayme Skarda Stephens of Atlantic. They enjoyed their retirement at the lake until they moved to St. George, Utah in 1994 where they lived for 12 years until they moved back to Atlantic in 2006 and became residents of Brookridge Apartments of Heritage House.

He was a member of First Assembly of God in Atlantic, Iowa and also a member of churches in Missouri and Utah. He was formerly a member of the Atlantic Elks Lodge, #445.

Don was preceded in death by his first wife, Ardath, his parents, brothers-in-law Hugh McCombs, and Charles Pilmer. He is survived by his wife Mayme; daughters Sherry (Dennis) Davis of Atlantic, Randi (Doug) Williams of Columbus, Nebraska, Marci (J.C.) Van Ginkel of Atlantic, Tammy Cohron (husband Ken Croson) of Bellevue, Nebraska; stepdaughter Sharon (Marion) Price of Waukee, Iowa, Patt (Gordy) Mitchell of Chesnee, South Carolina; five grandchildren Jaime Davis (husband Allan Smith) of Des Moines, Carrie (Aaron) Prokopec of Columbus, Nebraska, Tracy (Nick) Tuuk of Charleston, South Carolina, James (fiancée Elizabeth Sommers) Van Ginkel of Des Moines, John Van Ginkel of Des Moines; five great grandchildren Coden, Ryland, and Bronwyn Prokopec of Columbus, Nebraska, Trevor Davis Smith of Des Moines, and William Tuuk of Charleston, South Carolina. He is also survived by sister Virginia Pilmer of Ballwin, Missouri; sister-in-law Jody McCombs of Des Moines; and numerous nieces and nephews. Other survivors include four step grandchildren Carey (Rocky) Palmer of St. Charles, Iowa, Mitch (Cindy) Price of Winterset, Iowa, Chad (Mickela) Mitchell of South Carolina, Jeff (Sara) Mitchell of Des Moines; eight step great grandchildren Eric and Kate Mitchell of South Carolina, Jackson and Hanna Mitchell of Des Moines, Rachel (Christopher) Conley of Moline, Illinois, Richard Palmer of Urbandale, Iowa, Matthew Price of Dallas Center, Iowa, Mellissa (Austin) Grappe of Winterset, Iowa; and three great great step grandchildren Marshall Palmer of Des Moines, Iowa, Henry Conley of Moline, Illinois, and Adalena Grapp of Winterset, Iowa.

A visitation with the family present is planned for Saturday, July 19, 2014 at 12:30 p.m. at Hockenberry Family Care in Atlantic. The funeral service will follow at Heritage House at 2 p.m. with a luncheon immediately following. Burial with military honors will be in the Brethren Cemetery in Dallas Center, Iowa. The family requests memorials be directed to the Good Samaritan Fund at Heritage House, Benji Mallory “Lift Jesus Higher” Ministries, and First Assembly of God in Atlantic, Iowa.

Arrangements are being handled by Hockenberry Family Care and Iles Funeral Homes – Brandt Dallas Center Chapel. Online condolences may be sent to www.hockenberryfamilycare.com or www.IlesCares.com


Information provided by:
Iles Funeral Homes
Brandt Dallas Center Chapel
1301 Ash Street
Dallas Center, IA 50063

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