Donald was born to Glenn and Luella (Collins) Lefler on February 20, 1929 in Wymore, Gage County, Nebraska. He graduated from Broken Bow High School in 1946, at which time he entered the United States Marine Corps in the department of aviation. In 1949 after being discharged from the Marine Corps, he was drafted into the United States Army where he was sent to the Helicopter Maintenance Training School in Glendale, CA. Upon returning to Nebraska, he married Margaret Ann Hostick of Merna, Nebraska. They were married on September 24, 1950.
Upon exiting the Army, Donald and Margaret moved to Cheyenne, Wyoming, where Donald was a member of the Wyoming Aeronautics Commission and was the Governor’s personal pilot. During this time he was also a flight instructor, owned a car dealership and flew for the FAA.
In 1967, Donald and Margaret opened the first of five McDonald’s restaurants in Los Gatos/San Jose, California. As an owner, Don touched the lives of thousands of employees. For many of them he became friend, mentor, counselor, godfather, and even surrogate father. Donald was an avid golfer and was happiest any time he was on the course.
Preceded in death by his parents, his wife Margaret and his brother Lawrence(Pat). He is survived by:
His Guardian Angel, Berta Raposo;
His nieces Susan Lefler (Greg Willcockson) of Madrid, Spain; Mary (Jeff) Collins of Fremont, Nebraska; Deena Bunzel of Arizona, and nephew Steven (Deb) Hostick of Nebraska;
McDonald’s family, Dan and Tami Borba, Dana Larson, Rudy and Carmen Lemus, David and Rosie Prentice, and Alma and Robert Yee.
In lieu of flowers, please send donations to the Ronald McDonald House in Stanford, Ca.