San Diego, Calif.
Donald Bruce Chadima, a gentleman who warmed hearts with his smile and gave kind greetings to every person he met, whether it was a grocery store clerk or his closest friend, died on Thursday, Sept. 17, 2020. He died peacefully of natural causes at the age of 94 surrounded by his children, Donald Clayton Chadima and Loren Elaine Chadima, and his loving caregivers. Even in his last days, his positive attitude, smile and sense of humor brightened everyone's days.
Born Aug. 11, 1926, and raised in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Don was the son of Bernadine (Shanor) and Lester Chadima, co-owners of the family business: Hubbard Ice. He shared fond memories of his now-deceased brothers Bill (William) Chadima and Bob (Robert) Chadima. To best describe their relationship, he said, "One birthday Bill gave me a Louis Armstrong record and Bob gave me a record of classical music and I loved them both."
Don went to military high school in Minnesota and Coe College in Cedar Rapids. In January 1945 he joined the Army and spent a year in Korea at the 38th Parallel as a sergeant in the Public Health and Welfare Section. He received several medals, including a Good Conduct Medal. Even in his last days he shared fond memories of serving in Korea.
In 1950 he moved to San Francisco and wrote copy for several advertising firms. An entrepreneur before it was cool, Don ran his own advertising firm, Castleman and Chadima, for more than 40 years. He married and raised two children. After divorcing, he moved to Emeryville, Calif., where he lived until 2007 when he moved to San Diego, Calif., to be near his children and grandchildren.
He surrounded himself with friends and developed a great skill and love of cooking. He loved old movies, American history, good restaurants and the theater. He had an eclectic taste in music and always was up for a local adventure with his children and friends. In retirement, one of his great joys was reading to elementary children in at-risk schools.
There will be an online Zoom memorial for friends and relatives, as well as a military funeral at Miramar National Cemetery. To be invited, email his daughter, Loren, at email@example.com. In lieu of flowers, please make donations in his honor to his grandchildren's college fund: Don Chadima Memorial Fund. There is no better charity for Don than his grandchildren's education.