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CAPT Donald Hendrix Nash, USN (Ret)



Virginia Beach - Captain Donald Hendrix Nash was relieved of his duties with family at his side on June 23, 2017 at Westminster Canterbury on the Bay in Virginia Beach, Virginia.

 Don had an inimitable spirit of happiness and loving loyalty to friends and family young and old. Don was a family man extending his care for family members and he loved staying in touch with all his cousins and friends.

 Born in Norman, Oklahoma on June 3, 1945 the son of Navy Captain Norman Clarke Nash and Mary Francis Hendrix Nash. He is survived by his wife of 48 years Donna Lamberth Nash and their 3 children; Meredith Nash Shields, Joseph Norman Nash, and Anne Marie Nash Burroughs. He was extremely proud of their successes in life and of his 4 handsome grandsons and one beautiful granddaughter, his "pumpkin bumpkin". He is also survived by his brother Major General Gordon Nash and brother-in-law Dr. Edwin Lamberth; their families and his cadre of special cousins, nieces, nephews, and their families.

 He graduated from the United States Naval Academy in June 1969 and is also a graduate of Norfolk Academy. After a tour in Vietnam aboard the USS Ernest G. Small (DD 838) he reported to Newport, RI for Destroyer School. In 1971 he was Weapons Officer on the USS Steinaker (DD-863). Two years later Don was Flag Lieutenant and Aide to COMCRUDESGRU Eight completing NATO Sixth Fleet exercises during the 1973 Middle East War. His first Command was the USS Impervious (MSO-449) a minesweeper stationed in Mayport, FL where he won the Golden Anchor award for retention on a "reserve" ship that learned to love to go to sea. After graduating from the Armed Forces Staff College, he reported as Executive Officer of the USS Kidd (DDG-993) the guided missile destroyer earned the coveted Battle "E". Captain Nash then served in Washington DC as the Surface Warfare Community Manager on the staff of the Chief of Naval Operations. His first Major Command was the USS Scott (DDG-995) completing a new upgraded missile system conversion. In his 3rd tour in Washington DC he was Director of the House of Representatives Congressional Liaison for the Secretary of the Navy. His last Command was as the Commissioning and Commanding Officer of the Cape St. George (CG-71) where he earned the Battle "E" twice and won the coveted USS Arizona Award as the most combat ready ship. Captain Nash later served as Atlantic Fleet Naval Surface Force Chief of Staff for the Office of Legislative Affairs. He concluded his naval career by serving as the Special Assistant for Information of the United States Atlantic Command.

 His decorations include the Legion of Merit, Meritorious service medal with three gold stars, Navy Commendation Medal, Navy Achievement Medal, Humanitarian Service Award, and other campaign and expeditionary medals. Don was honored by serving with members of Congress and the many men and women of the US Navy. In 1998 Don retired to be Information Systems Director for Logicon, and later Northrop Grumman.

In Norfolk, Don was active at Ghent United Methodist Church where he was Endowment Chair, Board Member and involved with daily congregational happenings. As an alumnus Don was an active USNA alumni association member and part of the newly established mentoring program, and a great supporter of the Class of 69 tailgates.

 He is remembered affectionately for his perfectly fun and animated laugh which made it hard to forget him. He had special gifts of making a room come alive and making everyone who met him feel special because he believed in them. His family wishes to give special thanks to the nurses and aides who lovingly cared for him both privately and at Westminster Canterbury who have been so accommodating to him and his many family and visitors. To his family and friends Don couldn't have loved you more, your cards and well wishes, visits and hugs, gave him strength over the last several years. His entire family thanks everyone for their thoughts, prayers, and kindnesses during this time.

 A Memorial Service will be held at Ghent United Methodist Church in Norfolk, VA at 11 a.m. on June 29th, followed by a reception at the Norfolk Yacht and Country Club and an inurnment at the U.S. Naval Academy Columbarium at a later date.

 In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to Ghent United Methodist Church Norfolk, VA and the mentoring program at the United States Naval Academy Alumni Association. H.D. Oliver Funeral Apts., Laskin Rd Chapel is handling arrangements. Online condolences may be made to the family at hdoliver.com.

 Published in The Virginian Pilot on June 26, 2017