Joseph Donald Foran left this world to be with his heavenly father on March 11, 2021.
Known to his friends and family as Don, he was born on June 8, 1926 to James Edward Foran and Hazel Inez (nee Weedon) in Amarillo. Don comes from proud Irish heritage and held dual citizenship in both Ireland and the United States. Don obtained his Irish citizenship through his grandfather, Edward Foran, who was born in Oghill, Ireland and immigrated to the USA, settling in Joliet, Illinois.
Don’s father and maternal grandfather homesteaded in the Oklahoma panhandle. The family still owns both homesteads. Don’s father was founder of Foran Construction Company that was based out of Amarillo. The company is responsible for installing municipal sewer, water and gas systems throughout the panhandle and many parts of Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska and Oklahoma. Don and his older brother Bill took over the company and continued to run it until 1987 when they sold the business to the L. A. Fuller and Sons.
After high school, Don enlisted in the Army in 1944. He trained as a radio operator and was deployed to Germany to the 687th Field Artillery, part of the 8th Corp Artillery. Don was one of four soldiers sent to replace troops lost in the Battle of the Bulge. Don was assigned to headquarters battalion where he drove a jeep and operated the radio for a Battalion Intelligence Officer . Don had many thrilling stories and was always eager to share his experiences during combat. After the halt of hostilities, Don functioned as a currier transporting documents utilized during the Nuremburg War Crime Trials. Upon his discharge, Don returned to Amarillo and attended Amarillo College, followed by attendance at Texas Tech University where he received his BS in Civil Engineering. Don became a professional engineer and partnered with his brother, Bill to take charge of the construction company established by their father.
Don met and fell in love with his wife, Mozelle (nee Vetesk) Mozelle also attended Texas Tech, majoring in Architecture. They were married in 1950 and settled in Amarillo. Don and Mozelle had two daughters, Virginia and Christine and one son, Kelly.
Don and Mozelle were members of Palo Duro Country Club and enjoyed their cabin in the canyon for many years. They had a camper and traveled through the United States, especially in the Rocky Mountains. Don was an active member of First Baptist Church and also served as a volunteer at Palo Duro Canyon State Park where he maintained the Lighthouse trail.
After retirement, his nephew, Joe Foran located a 1942 army jeep identical to the one Don drove during the war. Don stripped it down and totally restored it. He was frequently seen driving his jeep in the Independence Day parades. He was featured in the Wall Street Journal as well as the Amarillo Globe News when he donated the jeep the VFW post 430 in Canyon.
Don was preceded in death by his parents, wife and brother. Survivors include three children Virginia Foran of Amarillo, Christine Morales of Wimberly, TX and Kelly Foran of Meridian, TX, two grandchildren, Heather Schuyler of New Braunfels, TX and Kaitlin Hagler of Edmond, OK and one great-grandchild, Ryker Schuyler.
Viewing will be from 9:00 a.m.-8:00 p.m., Sunday, March 14, 2021 at the funeral home. Funeral service will be held at 2:00 p.m., Monday, March 15, 2021 in the First Baptist Church Chapel. Military grave-side honors will follow at Llano Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, memorials should be directed to the First Baptist Church.