DON LEE "DONNY" WORKMAN, JR. ~ Class of 1967
April 3, 1949 - December 28, 1969

Don Workman - Senior Portrait

Published in the Tri-City Herald on December 29, 1969:

Chute Fails, Jumper Dies

A 20-year-old Richland man, home on leave from the U.S. Navy, was killed December 28, 1969, while skydiving at the Richland Airport.

Pilot William J. Wheat, Richland Flying Service, said Don L. Workman, Jr. was one of five aboard the plane and was making his second jump of the day about 2:30pm.

Wheat said three had jumped from 2,500 feet, and Workman jumped from 3,500 feet "to give himself a little extra room."

The pilot said that after Workman left the plane he either tumbled purposely or got out of control. When the main chute opened, he appeared to be upside down, and the chute became entangled in his feet.

Wheat said he let the main chute go and then tried to open his reserve chute "but for some reason it didn't open."

Workman landed about 1,000 feet north of the large hangar at the airport and about 50 feet off the main runway.

Wheat said Workman, a veteran of more than 80 jumps, had been a member of the Thunderbird Sport Parachute Club in Richland the past 2 1/2 - 3 years. He said Workman and another club member had packed the chute.

The victim was the son of Mr. and Mrs. Don L. Workman, Sr. of Richland.

Benton County sheriff's department, which is handling the investigation, said representatives of the Federal Aviation Administration are expected in Richland today to investigate the mishap and why the reserve chute failed to open.

Published in the Tri-City Herald on December 29, 1969:

Don Workman, 20, of Richland died December 28, 1969, while skydiving at the Richland Airport. He was born April 3, 1949, in Richland and had been home on Christmas leave. He was an EM-3 in the U.S. Navy stationed on the USS Claude-Jones in Hawaii. He had been in the Navy 1 1/2 years and was a 1967 graduate of Columbia High School.

Mr. Workman was a member of Christ the King Catholic Church and The Thunderbird Sport Parachute Club both in Richland.

Survivors include his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Don L. Workman, Sr.; siblings, James F. Workman ('61), Sharon Workman Brackensick ('62), Helen Workman Jurjaks ('64), Sandra Workman Gibson ('69), and John L. Workman ('71).

Rosary was recited at Christ the King Catholic Church. Requiem Mass was celebrated at the church with the Rev. Sean Dolan celebrant.

Military graveside services were conducted at Sunset Memorial Gardens.

Don Workman - Headstone

File put together by Shirley COLLINGS Haskins ('66).