George Don Apedaile, 81, of Dothan, Alabama passed away on Thursday, September 12, 2019 at Extendicare Nursing Home. He was born on October 19, 1937 in Salt Lake City, Utah to George Sharp Apedaile and Mildred Gertrude (Brown) Apedaile.
Don grew up in Salt Lake City, then served a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to Southern California. After returning from his mission, he married Jennette Johnson, and they had six children. They all have many memories of their growing up years of hiking, biking, camping, swimming, boating, water skiing, hang gliding, snow skiing, and canoeing. Don used his skills to build the canoe they used to float down the Green River.
During these busy years, Don also put a lot of time and energy into working with the Boy Scouts, which left a positive impact on the lives of many young men. In 1964, he drove a group of Explorer Scouts from Utah to New York for the World’s Fair.
Don and his wife, Jennette, were also Stake Dance directors for several years and worked hard to get the youth ready for the dance festival in Salt Lake City.
Professionally, Don worked as a machinist at USU Space Dynamics Lab, then Thiokol, in Utah before retiring in 1992.
In his spare time and after retiring, Don sought after adventure and truth. He strayed from his early faith and learning, but continued on, trying to live life to the fullest. After being married to Jennette for many years, they divorced. He then married Susan Lewis, and they divorced after being together for about ten years.
Aside from the activities listed above, Don went on to enjoy sailing, skydiving, motorcycle riding, and travelling. He even bought his own sailboat, which he lived on for a while, sailing through the San Juan Islands. He also enjoyed building things and was very skilled at it. He was a very determined man and did whatever he made up his mind to do. In his quest to see the world, he also spent some time in Russia.
Don spent most of his life in Utah, then spent the last 23 years in Dothan, Alabama, where his son Quintin served a mission. After struggling with internal conflict and tumultuous times, Don decided he wanted “see nature up close” and escape the hustle and bustle of normal daily life. He rode his bicycle from Utah to the Florida Keys, where one of his daughters lived at the time; then rode north again to reside in Dothan, Alabama. Don did this with the help of his son, John, who owned a bicycle shop in Utah. Don often mentioned his children, and we could tell he was proud of them and loved them.
Dothan is where he met and married Helen McClellan in 1996. She remembers Don as a hardworking, charitable, loving husband who enjoyed the outdoors. They spent fun times together visiting family members, dancing, going on cruises, sailing with many different family members, helping others, and just spending time around the pond and floating dock he built; and, of course, feeding the ducks.
Don is survived by his wife Helen McClellan and her daughter, Sherri (Bryan) Taylor of Boise, Idaho. He is also survived by his former wife, Jennette Johnson Apedaile Hawkes, and their six children, including Jaunaree (Mike) Mills of Towoac, CO; John (Chris) Apedaile of Richmond, Ut; Minonette (Bryan) Dayton of Richmond, UT; Lenonnie (Grayson) DuBose of Smithfield, UT; Quintin (Heidi) Apedaile of Hamilton, MT; and Jay (Trina) Apedaile of Mendon, UT, had 23 grandchildren, 4 great grandchildren with a 5th on the way.
At Don’s request, there will be no services. In lieu of flowers, please give to your favorite charity.
We would like to offer a big Thank You to the nurses at Extendicare, who so lovingly and skillfully cared for Don over the past two years. We also want to thank the nurses from Kindred Hospice for their care during those last days of his life.