Donald W. “Blacky” Milinac, 84, Woodstock, died Monday, Feb. 18, 2013, at home, surrounded by his loving family.
He was born May 31, 1928, in Chicago to John and Gunhilda (Carlson) Milinac.
On Dec. 4, 1952, he married Shirley Mae Glosson.
At the age of 17, he enlisted in the Army Air Corps and completed Aircraft Mechanics School at Keesler AFB, Biloxi, Miss., and Chanute AFB, Rantoul. He reported to Hickam Field in Hawaii in 1947.
He loved airplanes and handcrafting and handriveting aircraft-grade aluminum in his own private hangar.
He rode his first Harley-Davidson motorcyle in Haiwaii and proceeded to ride the brand for more than 50 years, embracing life on the open road with his wife and friends. In 1949, he rode a 1942 Indian Four motorcycle from Oakland, Calif., to McHenry.
He enjoyed discussing the mysteries of the ancient Egyptians, hunting for buried treasure, weapon specifications of fighter planes, the migration habits of waterfowl, the winter habitat of the teal and his fascination with the Canada goose.
He also enjoyed using his shotgun, collecting and salvaging the cast-off items of other people, fires, good company and a cocktail. He worked as a ready-mix driver for Meyer Material Company, and when he retired, he worked on a number of boat projects.
Survivors include two daughters,, Donna (Jim) Goad, Walworth, Wis., and Diane (Robert) Embach, Woodstock; four grandchildren, Lauren (Kevin Samsa) Schlendorf, Ciara Ruffino, Anthony (Brie Williams) Ruffino and Dana Keller; two great-grandchildren, Corwin and Mason; a brother, Bud (Bonnie) Milinac, Hebron; three sisters-in-law, June Milinac, Sandra (Roger) May and Charlene (Bruce) Peck; five brothers-in-law, Don Peterson, Douglas (Jackie) Glosson, Ronald (Sally) Glosson, Gene (Nancy) Glosson and Dean (Frances) Glosson; many nieces and nephews; several great-nieces and great-nephews; and a great-great-nephew.
He was preceded in death by his parents; his wife, April 19, 2011; a brother, Carl Milinac; and a sister, Jean Peterson.
Vistation and the funeral were Feb. 21 at Justen Funeral Home & Crematory, McHenry. Interment was at Ringwood Cemetery, Ringwood.
Memorials can be sent to Hospice and Palliative Care of Northeastern Illinois, Attn: Foundation, 405 Lake Zurich Road, Barrington, IL 60010 or to Friends of Hackmatack National Wildlife Refuge, P.O. Box 413, Richmond, IL 60071.
His family would like to extend special thanks to Char Peck, Judy Bottcher and Kelly Glass for their love and care.