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Don "Viejo" Fordham
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Birth: May 13, 1921
Del Norte
Rio Grande County
Colorado, USA
Death: Sep. 13, 2010
Monterey County
California, USA

May 13, 1921 ~ September 13, 2010

MONTEREY - Don Fordham, known as Grandpa, Papa and Viejo died after a lengthy illness; he was 89.

Mr. Fordham was born May 13, 1921 in Del Norte, Colorado. He started his career as a pressman apprentice in 1938 at the Santa Fe New Mexican but his career was interrupted in 1941 when he and his brother Bill joined the U.S. Marine Corps after the start of World War II. Don was assigned to work with the storied Navajo Code Talkers, a group that transmitted secret communication on the battlefields that the Japanese could not break. He served in Bouganville and Guadalcanal; his mother was notified twice that he was missing in action. He was discharged in 1945 with the rank of gunnery sergeant. He was very proud to have served in the Marine Corps and to be the only non-Indian invited to attend yearly meetings of the Code Talkers.

After working in the circulation departments of the New Mexican and the Las Vegas Review Journal, he returned to pressroom work at the Twin Falls Times-News in Idaho. He came to work at the Monterey Peninsula Herald in 1953, when the newspaper was located at Washington and Pearl streets in downtown Monterey. Don became press foreman at The Herald in 1970 after the plant had been relocated to Pacific and Jefferson streets. Three years later he was named pressroom superintendent and in 1985 he was promoted to production manager in charge of the pressroom, composing room, and engraving department. Mr. Fordham retired from The Herald in 1991.

Don traveled extensively, and especially enjoyed visiting Russia. He and his wife were part of the first American group to visit the Russian military base, Konstat. They also attended the 50th Guadalcanal dedication memorial. The family would like to thank Dian Pirzada for putting together the honor flight that took Don and his son, Jim to Washington, D.C. last October and Sam Farr for his dedication to the veterans. He was a member of the Monterey Elks Lodge.

Don was predeceased by his father, Earl Fordham and mother, Jessie Fordham, as well as his sister, Ruth Reyff.

He is survived by his wife of 49 years, June; son, Jim and daughter, Linda Myers; grandsons, Timothy L. Myers, Daniel L. Myers and Joseph L Myers; brother, Bill Fordham of Santa Fe, NM; nieces and nephews: Randy, Sharon, Karen, Dennis, Patty, Bob and Denny; and his dog, Boodles.

Don was cremated and will be laid to rest at Fort Ord Military Cemetery once it is completed. The family prefers any donations be directed to The SPCA for Monterey County, Hospice or American Cancer Society .

A celebration of Don's life for family and friends will be held October 2, 2010 at 4
p.m. at Laguna Seca Golf Club, 10520 York Rd. in Monterey.

Published in The Monterey Herald on September 26, 2010 
Fort Ord Military Cemetery
Monterey County
California, USA
Created by: Ms. Clyde
Record added: Oct 05, 2010
Find A Grave Memorial# 59643811
Don Viejo Fordham
Added by: Ms. Clyde
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Thank you for your service to your country. Rece in peace.
 Added: Jun. 7, 2012
I thank-you for your service to this great nation.
- Vicky Dawn Waller Flow
 Added: May. 20, 2012

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