|Birth: ||Dec. 29, 1924|
Clinton (Vermillion County)
|Death: ||Apr. 2, 2009|
CLINTON — Donald E. Foltz was born in Clinton Township on Dec. 29, 1924, the fourth child of Paul and Hazel Walther Foltz. Grades one through five were spent in the one-room Spangler School, followed by grades six through eight at Fairview School. Don graduated from Clinton High School as a winner of the Sam Stultz award for 32 A's. He enrolled at Purdue University and worked his way through college as a fireman on the Chicago Milwaukee, St. Paul, Pacific Railroad, at Purdue Dairy Farm, and Purdue Home Economics Cafeteria.
At Purdue, he was editor of the Purdue Agriculturist magazine, selected for three honoraries — Alpha Zeta, Sigma Delta Chi, and was president of Ceres. He was selected to be a member of Acacia Fraternity. He also was selected to represent the university as a Danforth Fellow and the nominee for Rhodes Scholar. He graduated summa cum laude in 1946, and began working for Indiana Certified Seed Service. He next became assistant county extension agent in Vigo County. Don was selected for the National 4-H Fellowship one year study in Washington, D.C.
Korea intervened, and after Officer Candidate School at Fort Benning, he served in combat as a second lieutenant in the 7th Infantry Division. After the truce Don enrolled in the University of Maryland, where he received his master's degree. He returned home to farm and serve as Vermillion County state representative in 1955, as the first Korean veteran in the legislature. Don was selected as the outstanding freshman legislator. He was re-elected in 1957, 1959, and 1961, serving as majority leader in 1959. During those years Don sponsored legislation which created the Purdue School of Veterinary Medicine, the School Reorganization Act, and creation of the State Department of Administration. In 1961 Governor Matthew Welsh selected Don to serve as director of the Department of Conservation (D.N.R.). During his four years as director, he added over 30,000 acres to the state conservation system including Raccoon Recreation Area, left a long-range plan which guided the department for over 20 years, changed the department from patronage to merit system, and moved the Indiana State Museum out of the State House basement into its own building.
While in state government, he obtained a bank charter and led the formation of the Clinton State Bank, where he served as president for many years. When the Wabash River bridge at Clinton fell in, Don worked with Gov. Welch to obtain the temporary and permanent replacements. He also was largely responsible for the relocation of State Road 63, west of Clinton. On Don's 40th birthday, Gov. Welsh came to Clinton to dedicate the new bridge and open the new bank. Gov. Welsh made Don a "Sagamore of the Wabash" — lndiana's highest honor.
With the change of administration, Don went to work for Hulman & Co. Mr. Tony Hulman owned many businesses, including the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and wanted Don to represent him on many boards. Some of them were Boy Scouts of America, Swope Art Museum, Five County Economic Development District, and Junior Achievement. He spent the month of May working at the Indy 500 race for over 20 years, Don was very active in community service, including combining four Methodist churches, and acting as chairman of the building of the church and parsonage for Wayside United Methodist Church. He served several years as president of the Wabash Valley Association, was a life member of the Vermillion County Historical Society, life member of the Swope Art Museum, and life member of Purdue Alumni. He served three years as the president of the State Purdue Agriculture Alumni, and member of Jerusalem Lodge 99, and Scottish Rite for more than 50 years- He served on the Hamilton Center board for many years before he was elected to be the Chief Executive Officer of the six-county mental health facility. After retirement, Don spent more time on the farm which he had built to 2,200 acres. He enjoyed travel and visited all seven continents. For their 49th wedding anniversary they made a trip around the world. When Julia and Tim were in grade school, he took the family to all 50 states, and seven foreign countries. He was elected to be national president of the 7th Infantry Division for a four year term and two national conventions. Don actively pursued genealogy throughout his lifetime.
He is survived by his wife of 56 years, Jean Uran Foltz; daughter, Julia (Mark) who resides in Terre Haute and is a teacher at Chauncey Rose Middle School; son Timothy (Nancy) who resides in Clinton and manages the family farm; granddaughters, Kathleen and Melissa. Don also is survived by brothers, Dale (Dorothy-deceased) of Clinton, Leon (Freda) of Speedway, and Max (Barbara) of Clinton. Preceding him in death are his parents; brother, Kenneth (Ester); and sister, Eleanor (Jack).
Funeral services are 10:30 a.m. Friday at Wayside Methodist Church. Visitation is Thursday from 3 to 8 p.m., at Frist Funeral Home. 458 Blackman St., with a Masonic service at 7 p.m. There also will be visitation one hour before services Friday, at the church. Burial is in Spangler Cemetery, with graveside military rites. The Rev. Mindy Huffman will officiate. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Don Foltz Foundation at Fowler Park in Vigo County or to the charity of your choice.
Published on Sunday, 5 Apr 2009, Terre Haute Tribune-Star p. A2
He was a member of the Wabash Valley Genealogy Sosciety (www.inwvgs.org).
Paul Hershel Foltz (1890 - 1971)
Hazel Walther Foltz (1889 - 1989)
Kenneth Foltz (1913 - 2008)*
Donald Eugene Foltz (1924 - 2009)
Created by: Mark W. Neice
Record added: Jun 03, 2009
Find A Grave Memorial# 37884636