Donald E. Bellows passed away on October 18, 2021. He was born on July 15, 1928, in Nutley, New Jersey and stayed there for 16 years until his family moved to Long Island, New York. Don graduated from Hampton Bays High School in 1947 and then enlisted in the newly formed “US Air Force,” luckily getting into the photographic career field.

   With Photo Intelligence work and taking official photographs, Don had many opportunities to travel. He was also fortunate to photograph many interesting people such as Presidents Johnson and Eisenhower, Bob Hope, Joey Heatherton, Danny Kay, Walter Winchell, and numerous other celebrities.

   Don always said, “I never had a base assignment I didn’t like.” His extraordinary overseas tours started with England (1951), Germany (1955), Japan (1961), and Guam (1966). The stateside assignments were at 10 enjoyable bases.

   After 26 years, Don retired from the Air Force and tried a year of civilian life before entering Civil Service. After 12 years, he retired as Circulation Chief at the Air Force Academy Cadet Library.

   Even though Don loved Colorado Springs, he truly looked forward to spending as much time as possible at his cabin in Cripple Creek with its fabulous 360-degree views and boundless opportunities for wildlife photos. He loved all the animals, but bears were his favorite. Selecting a bear picture for his Christmas card was anticipated every year.

   Don is survived by his wife, Pat; daughters, Debi, and Donna; granddaughters, Lisa and Kelly, as well as numerous nieces and nephews.

   Memorial services for Don will be held at the Shrine of Remembrance Funeral Home, “America the Beautiful” Chapel on November 5, 2021, at 2 pm. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Humane Society of the Pikes Peak Region at

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  1. The Buckley SFB military Retiree Activities Office (RAO) would like to offer our sincere condolences and our gratitude for Mr. Bellows’ 26 years of distinguished service to our country in the Air Force. If you would like help with any matters related to casualty assistance, Defense Finance & Accounting Service, Survivor Benefit Plan (SBP), Veterans Affairs (VA), etc. you can contact our office on Buckley SFB at 720-847-6693. The RAO is staffed by volunteers, all military retirees themselves, and our sole purpose is to provide assistance to any military retirees and surviving spouses/family members with anything related to their military service and/or benefits, in particular during difficult times such as this. We are deeply sorry for your loss.

    Steve Young
    Lt Col, USAF, Ret
    Director, Buckley SFB RAO

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