Major Donald R. Malm
Don "Tiny" Malm passed away in Austin, Texas of natural causes on August 31, 2016, just two days shy of his 82nd birthday. He was born in Park River, N.D. to Egnar Erik and Marie Olivia Malm (ne้ Turn) and in the early 1940s the family moved to California where Don graduated from Livermore High School in 1952. Older brothers Gordon and Hilmer were both in the military and passed on a fascination for airplanes and a love of flying and in 1954 Don joined the US Air Force. After graduating from the Aviation Cadets in 1955, he went on to have a full 20 year career as an Air Force pilot. He flew B-47 Stratojets out of McClellan AFB in Sacramento, CA for most of his career; later flew C-7A Caribou in Viet Nam [457, 1970] and finally KC-135s out of Dyess AFB in Abilene, Texas. He was the recipient of numerous commendations including the Distinguished Flying Cross and the Bronze Star.
Don retired from the Air Force in 1974 and he and his wife, Ruth Ann became active members of the Abilene community. Don served for many years on the board of the Abilene Philharmonic, served in numerous positions including Chief of Staff of the Commemorative Air Force and was honorary commander of the 9th Bomb Wing at Dyess AFB. He founded Malm Construction, building and remodeling homes and continued flying smaller aircraft throughout his life, including his beloved 1941 BT13, which he and his friends restored to flying condition.
Don was a very kind, generous and thoughtful man and always put the needs of others first. He was also a very talented craftsman and found ways to help others by giving of his time and talents.
He is survived by his wife of 60 years, Ruth Ann Malm (Austin), daughter Katherine Malm (Austin), son Michael Malm (Abilene), sister Carol Mermilliod (Federal Way, WA), granddaughter Rae Lynn and her husband Brady Hester (Nacogdoches), and many nieces and nephews.
His family and close friends will be remembering him in Austin on Saturday October 1st with a Celebration of Life. Look up to the sky at 2:00 and you will see his 1941 BT13 and other WWII Warbirds flying over the Barton Hills neighborhood in his honor.