Dr. Donald Wampler, VMD, age 92, longtime Oak Harbor veterinarian, passed away in Oak Harbor with his wife Gloria at his side, on Monday, March 14, 2016.
Dr. Wampler was born in Irwin, Penn., on Feb. 23, 1924, to Samuel and Magdellan (Pfaller) Wampler. He was raised in Irwin, and graduated from high school there.
Following high school, he enlisted in the United States Merchant Marine, one year before becoming eligible for the draft. On March 27, 1942, Donald boarded the the ship West Nilus in Philadelphia, bound for Russia. Joining Arctic Convoy PQ 16, the ship endured seven days of constant air raids and submarine attacks. Half of the ships in the convoy were sunk. The West Nilus was carrying 1000 tons of TNT, food and trucks, and survived.
Following the ship’s return to New York on Nov. 5, 1942, Donald met Gloria Mase, who would later become his bride.
Continuing in his journeys with the Merchant Marine, Donald sailed to North Africa, where they brought back 2,500 German POWs. Subsequent tours included England, Iceland and Egypt (where he first saw the pyramids). Upon his return to the U.S., he attended officer’s training school in New London, Conn., graduating as ensign and 3rd officer in the U.S. Coast Guard. He sailed to France, then through the Panama Canal, and on to the South Pacific, where his ship unloaded naval supplies in the Admiralty Islands, New Guinea and the Philippines. After the end of the war, he assisted in getting relief supplies to Germany and France.
Returning to Pennsylvania, Donald married Gloria on Aug. 24, 1947.
He then began college at Pennsylvania State University. Continuing his veterinary studies at the University of Pennsylvania, he eventually became a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine.
Donald and Gloria moved to Moses Lake, where they lived for two years. Following this, the couple moved to Oak Harbor, where Donald established Dr. Wampler’s Veterinary Clinic, retiring after at least 25 years.
Donald was active in the Lions Club and the Navy League. He and Gloria collected Northwest art and traveled frequently throughout the world together.
Donald is survived by his wife Gloria, of Oak Harbor, a grandson Jason Wampler, of Spring Hill, Fla., and a brother Stanley Wampler of Jensen Beach, Fla.
In keeping with his wishes, no services will be held. Memorials are suggested to Whidbey Animals’ Improvement Foundation. Arrangements are with the assistance of Whidbey Memorial.