Donald A. Nikunen Maj USAF (Ret)

Donald A. Nikunen Maj USAF (Ret)

June 29, 1934 – November 19, 2020

Donald A. Nikunen, son of Arne and Irene Nikunen, was born in Buhl, Minnesota, on June 29, 1934. After graduation from Martin Hughes High School in Buhl, Don joined the Air Force.  The Air Force sent Don to a Michigan Air Force Base where he met his bride Margaret, a member of the Royal Canadian Air Force.  The Air Force sent the couple and their family all over the world including Libya, Germany, England, Alaska, Montana, and eventually SAC Headquarters Offutt AFB and Bellevue, Nebraska. Don retired from the Air Force after a 28 year career which included serving in the Vietnam War. Don enjoyed a successful career at Radio Shack after the Air Force, when he wasn’t on fishing trips. Don’s final years were spent in the Heritage Ridge community in Bellevue.

Don was preceded in death by his parents and wife Margaret.   Those who remain to remember Don’s life are his sister Betty Ornberg of Virginia, Minnesota; daughter Kathy (John) Mueller of Bellevue, Nebraska; son Michael (Molly) of Seattle, Washington; son David (Christine) of Omaha; daughter Sheri Kennedy (Todd White) of Omaha; son Bob of Omaha; 9 grandchildren Johanna, Hannah, Jonathan, Grace, David, Izak, Nik, Maggie and Ana; and many friends. He was fortunate to have much of his medical care through Bellevue Medical Center where he made many friends.

Private Visitation following CDC Guidelines:  Monday, November 23rd, 11:00-Noon, followed by Private Celebration of Life Service following CDC Guidelines at noon both at Bellevue Memorial Chapel.

To view video of the service, click the link below:

Interment:  Bellevue Cemetery

Military Honors:  Offutt Air Force Base Honor Guard & American Legion Post 331

Gifts in memory of Don Nikunen may be made to benefit Nebraska Medicine-Bellevue Medical Center. Please send donations to the University of Nebraska Foundation, P. O. Box 82555, Lincoln, NE 68501-2555. Please make checks payable to the NU Foundation and include on the memo line or enclosed note that the gift is in memory of Don Nikunen. Please visit to make an online gift.


  • Sheri Kennedy Posted November 23, 2020 7:22 am

    We’ll miss you Dad. I’m glad you’re at peace.

    • Ruth Waymire Posted December 4, 2020 9:08 pm

      So sorry to hear about your dad! I’m praying for you all!!

  • Hilary & Clive Lloyd Posted November 23, 2020 10:50 am

    Clive and I met Nik when I started to work for him at Upper Heyford Oxfordshire. He was a great boss, a good friend and cooked the best T bone steak ever.

  • Craig and Janet Harriman Posted November 23, 2020 1:01 pm

    Our love and respect for Don is shared by Hilary and Clive Lloyd living in England; Don was my Commander as a tower controller and Hilary was his secretary. We were very close. I and Don reunited 2017 on facebook and I found Hilary; what a blessing as we relived many memories and exchanged information on our lives and families. He and I had a similar history with the Air Force, enlisted to commissioned officer and assignments we chatted about. He was a role model for me and I used and shared his quality of Command, mission and above all caring for our personnel.
    God bless Sir.

  • Rusty Fleming Posted November 23, 2020 7:54 pm

    Just viewed Don’s Celebration of Life. I was touched by everyone’s words, prayers and song. I know the Major must be very proud and pleased. If was there I would want to thank him for being the Father of my best friend. And knowing this family.

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