Donald Henry Picard
1944 – 2020
Lieutenant Colonel Donald Henry Picard (Ret.), a loving husband, father, grandfather, brother, and friend, began his final retirement on June 4, 2020, after a long fight, in which he never stopped living. Donald passed peacefully, with his wife and sister soothing him with loving touches and soft words.
Donald proudly served the American people in the Air Force, retiring after over twenty-six years. Donald ended his career as Chief of the United States Munitions Branch for the United Kingdom Headquarters of the Third Air Force, located at the Royal Air Force Mildenhall, Suffolk, England. Lieutenant Colonel Picard also held the positions of Commander of the US Munitions Detachment in CFB Bagotville, Canada and Squadron Commander of Munitions at Pease Air Force Base in New Hampshire, United States.
Throughout his life, Donald utilized his quick mind and higher learning as a lecturer, educator, and mentor. Whether instructing Computer Science at Daytona Junior College; teaching Robotics and Computer Graphics to 4-H students in Nebraska; or in our National Parks over many seasons as a volunteer and Interpretive Ranger, he believed in passing his gifts, experiences, and knowledge on to the world.
For Donald, the natural world was sacred, sanctified by his constant presence within it and his dedication to its understanding and preservation. Donald served as the President of the Southeast Volusia Audubon Society for twenty-two years, leading birding walks and talks, as he continued in his retirement to educate the world about nature’s boundless beauty. Donald continues to serve the Audubon Society today as President Emeritus, an honor bestowed before his passing and that he proudly takes with him.
Donald loved his wife of over 50 years deeply. Maureen and Donald Picard together lived life like few others, and those that knew them often envied the breadth of their experiences. Donald and Maureen saw the world, not just visiting but living in England, Saudi Arabia, Germany, Canada, and the United States. They spent long periods within the National Parks, trekking to the most remote regions, comfortable because they had each other, surrounded by God’s creation in its rawest form. Donald and Maureen took their final adventure, despite (and perhaps to spite) Donald’s diagnosis and discomfort, to Patagonia, Chili in November of 2019. Nothing could stop Donald from touching the earth at its most serene and remote, even in the final months of his amazing life.
His Family felt his love for them acutely. His two daughters, Danielle Stewart and Angelique Moseley, held a special bond with their father, staying close, traveling together and mingling the families for celebrations, consolations, congratulations, weighty conversations, and constant loving contact. He actively participated in the lives of his grandchildren, who knew their Pepérè’s adoration, gentle caring, and learned advise. Katelyn, Jacqueline, Ethan, Brendon, Owen, Hayden, Noel, and Gabriel will carry his love and wisdom with them and pass his lessons and love to the world in this next generation.
His sister Theresa Carey, blessed to be with him at the end, has lost not just a brother, but one of her dearest friends. The deep bond between the youngest and oldest of the Picard siblings was not broken by the distance of their homes or the years spent physically apart. Their bond thrived over the years, as their love, friendship, and filial bond flourished.
Donald was the oldest of the “Buddha Brothers”, joined in this designation by his brother Normand, a Vietnam veteran, who predeceased Donald in 2016, and his surviving youngest brother Ronald Picard of South Carolina. In any gathering where the Buddha Brothers were present, you knew it was going to be an exceptionally good time.
Donald received his Master of Science degree in Business Administration from the University of Northern Colorado and his Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.
His life made this world greener, safer, brighter, and more caring. The loss of his light will dim the spirits of all those that loved him; however, we will all live better – we will be smarter, kinder to our planet, and more compassionate and humane – for having known and been touched by Donald Henry Picard. God bless you Donald. We love you.
The family asks that, in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the Southeast Volusia Audubon Society or to another organization dedicated, as Donald was, to the preservation of our planet.
SEVA, PO Box 46, New Smyrna Beach, FL 32170