Don was born on Oct. 3, 1939, to Earl and Phoebe (Jones) Bechtel in Cherokee. He graduated from Washington High School in Cherokee in 1958. After graduation from high school he went to DeVry Technical Institute in Chicago, Ill. Upon graduation from DeVry, he moved to California where he worked for three years before joining the Army. He was stationed in Korea. He then returned to California where he resumed his aerospace engineering career. Don retired in 1991. In 2002 he returned to live in Cherokee to be closer to family and friends.
Don was an avid Chicago Cubs fan and enjoyed watching their games. He also liked to golf, and enjoyed spending time on his computer. He enjoyed making and fixing things. He was an excellent cook and liked to feed people.
He was preceded in death by his paternal and maternal grandparents, his parents, Earl and Phoebe Bechtel, his brothers Dale Bechtel, Gerald Bechtel, and Loren Bechtel, a sister-in-law Betty Bechtel, and a nephew Gary Bechtel.
Don is survived by twelve nephews and nieces, Sandra (Ken) Hartkopp, Joanie (Duane) Norem, Kathy (Mike)
Anderson, Linda (Denny) Timmins, Diana (Jerry) Thorne, Michael (Joyce) Bechtel, Denise Green, Kristine (Wayne) Meylor, Dan Bechtel, Steven Bechtel, Robert Bechtel, and Lisa (Barry) Carlson, as well as many great nephews and nieces and, several great-great nephews and nieces. He is also survived by a sister-in-law Arlis Bechtel, a sister-in-law Marilyn Bechtel, and many very close friends and neighbors.