Don Naftel was born at Bossier City LA Jan 10, 1950 and, while raised in the Air Force, claimed the Homestead area as his childhood home.
Following his father and mentor, Col Stacy Naftel’s footsteps, Don Naftel devoted a multitude of years to the United States Air Force through his Military and Civil Service. The majority of this service was at Duke Field Florida with the AC-130A Gunship. He was honest, hard-working, and unafraid of doing what was right to help those in need. Some people only knew SMSgt Don Naftel as the Chief of the Gunner Section. A rough and ready group that respected and admired him for his knowledge and wisdom both on and off the aircraft. There was another side to Don and that was the one that his best friend, side-kick, and partner-in-crime, wife Connie Naftel. They had been High School sweeties and then he ran off to Viet Nam. Just a little over 15 years later… FATE intervened and in 1984… they were united in marriage. Connie and Don combined… she had a beautiful daughter, Brittany, and Don had two sons, Kyle and Jeffery. This was when the fun began. Connie was quick to take on the lively bunch called Gunners and hosted several gatherings which still fuel many happy memories.
None were better than her yard parties. Connie loves to decorate her front yard for all holidays and Don was quick to assist (even if only by providing opinions). One of the most visited times was / is, Halloween. All month long the yard would be adorned with life-sized characters BUT on Halloween, the yard would come to Life. This may / may not have included some of these very manly ‘Gunship Aviators’ dressed in costume AND maybe even a pair of tights if the costume demanded so. Then came the grandsons and oh did Don love being a Grandfather to Carter and Cooper Bair! From soccer to baseball to basketball and their first cars. Don's family has always been a source of pride. Undoubtedly you will be missed Donnie but we are grateful you are resting in peace. Please leave your thoughts or stories below, or, if you prefer, send letters of sympathy to:
The Naftel Family
916 Juniper Ave
Niceville FL 32578
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Don S Naftel, please visit our floral store.