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Donald Lee Falletti


Donald Lee Falletti, 88, of Tulsa, OK, passed away on June 19, 2024, due to complications of Alzheimer's disease.

Donald was born in Frontenac, KS, on June 24, 1935, to Albert and Rose Falletti. He always held his Frontenac community and friends close to his heart.

After graduating from Frontenac High School in 1953, he worked for the Kansas City Southern Railway for seven months before attending Kansas State Teachers College, now known as Pittsburg State University, earning a degree in Mathematics.

During college, he met Carol Kastler at the Newman Center on campus. He wooed her with his good looks, snappy dressing, and exceptional dancing skills. They were married on September 12, 1959, at Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church in Pittsburg, KS. Both Donald and Carol always wanted a big family, so they had five children by the time he was 30.

Donald was a naturally gifted athlete who excelled in every sport he played: point guard in basketball, shortstop in baseball, and quarterback in football. He went on to coach youth basketball, baseball, and soccer for many years. He truly enjoyed working with kids, teaching them about sports and teamwork.

In 1958, he began a long career in aerospace, working at Boeing, Rockwell, and McDonnell Douglas. Shortly after joining Boeing, and having participated in ROTC during college, Donald was commissioned by the US Army as a first lieutenant, which required them to relocate to Arlington, VA. He completed active duty in 1960, followed by eight years in the Army Reserves, and was honorably discharged in 1968 with the rank of Captain, US Army Security Intelligence Agency.

Donald lived life passionately. He loved music, particularly jazz. And as music evolved, so did his taste. Our home was full of records by everyone from Stan Getz and Maynard Ferguson to Isaac Hayes, Elton John and Norah Jones.

He was passionate about social justice. Whether it was a work-sponsored event that had him in a dunk tank, a project to provide water to the under-served communities of Tulsa, or volunteering at Neighbor for Neighbor, you could count on him to lend a hand. He took particular pride in his work for the United Way Aerospace Division and his contributions to McDonnell Douglas' Martin Luther King Jr. celebrations.

Donald loved his cars and worked on all of them himself. His first was a 1953 Ford and, over time, he owned an Austin-Healey, MG TD, Cadillac DeVille, Dodge Charger, Lincoln Town Cars, and his beloved 1969 Pontiac Catalina convertible. He would tell his grandkids while on outings for ice cream that his hair blew off driving the convertible and that's why he was bald.

He loved gardening and was proud to be part of the first graduating class of the Linnaeus Teaching Garden program. He felt great joy when gardening with his friends at Linnaeus.

But most of all he loved his family. Which is good. Because we were a handful.

Donald is survived by his wife, Carol; his children Dawn Michelle, Dana Carole, Daphne Leigh, Donald Lee Jr., and Dierdra Anne; and his grandchildren Deider, Danna, and Dominique Barrick, Carson Mathes, Micaela Robinson and Olivia Falletti; great-grandchildren Avery Duke and Isabella Robinson Neal; niece Wylie and Tony Zupon; brother-in-law James Kastler; nephew James Kastler Jr. and family; niece Annette Taylor and family; and brother by choice Chuck Menghini, his wife Joyce and family.

Services will be held at Church of the Resurrection in Tulsa, OK, on Thursday, July 18 at 11 a.m. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to the Church of the Resurrection Food Pantry or Tulsa Community Food Bank.