Donald L. Troncalli
July 6, 1934 – January 30, 2018
Donald Lee Troncalli was born in 1934 in Birmingham, Alabama and passed away January 30, 2018, in Ocala, Florida, aged 83. He is preceded in death by his father, Manuel John Troncalli, mother Mary, sister Mary Louise (Clary) and Cecelia Jessica (Wright), his wife 1956-1992.
As an adolescent, Donald moved with his family from Birmingham to Atlanta, Georgia. Like his father & many in the family, Donald was very mechanically gifted with interests in automobiles, engines, electronics, aircraft & architecture.
He took that aptitude to new heights after graduating from Atlanta’s Bass High School in 1952 to attend the Georgia Institute of Technology nearby. A member of Delta Tau Delta fraternity, Donald earned a Aeronautical Engineering degree from Georgia Tech in 1956 and took an engineering position with North American Aviation in Los Angeles, California to eventually work on the X-15 project.
Refining his interest in aviation, Donald joined the US Navy in 1958 as Naval Cadet to fly. After flight training in Pensacola & Corpus Christi, Ensign Donald Troncalli was assigned to Attack Squadron VA-176, the “Thunderbolts”, flying the venerable Douglas A-1 Skyraider aboard the attack carrier USS Shangri-La (CVA 38), Sixth Fleet. At the height of the Cold War, Donald’s squadron served on numerous cruise assignments in the Mediterranean and notably, at the ready with assigned targets in Cuba during the 1962 Missile crisis.
By 1963, now Lieutenant Troncalli, began service at the US Navy Bureau of Naval Weapons in Washington DC and maintained flying status in the Naval Reserves.
After seven years in the US Navy, Donald accepted a Pilot position with United Airlines in 1965 and began a flying career there that lasted more than 30 years. At United Airlines, Captain Donald Troncalli flew the DC-6, B737, B727, DC-8, DC-10, 767/757 & 747. Within that 30 years, his family resided in Fort Lauderdale, FL, Kent, WA & Snellville, GA.
In retirement, Donald spent his time in Florida, Georgia and Michigan where he excelled in golf, dancing, automobiles, fitness, poker, billiards, fishing, boating, travel, wine & grandfathering.
Donald is survived by two children, Kevin Troncalli (Eden) of Dexter, Michigan and daughter Kelley Brunson (David) of Sharpsburg, Georgia; as well as seven grandchildren.
Donald was loved & adored by his family and will be truly missed.