Douglas H. Hemmingsen, age 74, of Burnsville, North Carolina passed away with his wife by his side after a brief battle with Pancreatic Cancer. He was born April 18th, 1948, in Belvidere Illinois and died June 9th, 2022, at Mission Hospital, Asheville North Carolina.
He grew up on a dairy farm and volunteered to serve his country as a Huey Helicopter pilot in Vietnam. Between Warrant Officer Class 69-5 and his 26 years in the Illinois Army National Guard, he was awarded the Purple Heart and sixteen Air Medals. He retired from Exelon as an equipment operator at the Byron nuclear power plant. He was a life member of the Vietnam Helicopter Pilots Association, Disabled American Veterans, Army Aviation Association of America and Asheville’s Emmanuel Lutheran Church. He kept his sense of humor until the end, joking about his nine lives: he had his hand caught in the hay fork on the farm, got shot in Vietnam, totaled his Corvette, had to land his Cessna in a strange farm field flying home through Missouri while running out of gas during a storm, was fired by the President/ATC and snake bit by a copperhead in North Carolina.
Those Doug left behind to cherish his memory include his wife of 49 years, Linda (Finke) Hemmingsen. His three children: Lt Col Martin (Aimee) Hemmingsen, Nathan Hemmingsen (Amy Burns), and Nora (Eddie) Gardner. His thirteen grandchildren who he loved watching grow and was so proud of: Mitchell, Nolan, Tara, Kaley, Calvin and Evie Hemmingsen, Makenzie, Eli, and Julia Hemmingsen, Caullin and Bailey Burns, Anthony and Wyatt Gardner. Siblings: Brenda (Dale) Moehling, Adele (Steve) Weskerna, Dick (Sharon) Hemmingsen, Alan (Marilyn) Finke, Anne Frisbee, Karen (Anthony) Winston and many nieces and nephews.
He is preceded in death by his parents, Henry and Marion Hemmingsen, in-laws Edgar and Dolores Finke, Brother-in-law James Frisbee, and Nephew Kip Moehling.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Emmanuel Lutheran Church in Asheville, North Carolina, or United Church of Christ in Union, Illinois, or Disabled American Veterans.
Funeral services will be held July 2nd at St. John’s United Church of Christ in Union, Illinois. Visitation at 10am, service at 11am, Military burial at Union Cemetery with Honors by Illinois National Guard and Luncheon to follow at the church.
Anyone that can fit in your flight suit or uniform please wear it, and bring your favorite stories about “Sodbuster” of the 114th RVN, or “Sten” from the 106th AVN. He was proud to serve the USA!
“Day is done, gone the sun,
from the lake, from the hills, from the sky.
All is well, safely rest, God is nigh.
Thanks, and praise, for our days,
‘Neath the sun, ‘neath the stars, ‘neath the sky.
As we go, this we know, God is nigh.”
One more thing: “Shut the Door!!!” (Ask the kids...)