Colonel Donald E. Appler, US Army Retired

COL (Ret) Donald E. Appler, 75, of Elizabethtown, KY, died Thursday, April 12, 2018. He was born in El Paso, TX and grew up in Huntsville, AL. He is survived by his wife of 45 years, Carolyn Hogue Appler; two daughters, Adrienne Appler (Jeremy) of Waukesha, WI and Valerie Appler (Mark) of Atlanta, GA; one sister, Susan Appler Hugel of Memphis, TN; niece Beth Hugel Majkrzak (Richard) and great nephews Carter Majkrzak and Erek Majkrzak of Memphis, TN; one brother in law, Larry Hogue, of Hattiesburg, MS; niece Laura Hogue Butler, great niece Hayden Butler, and great nephew John Thomas Butler of Wiggins, MS; niece Lisa Hogue Brown (Nicholas) and great nephew Alexander Brown of Little Rock, AR. He was a 1965 graduate of The United States Military Academy, West Point, NY and received his Master's Degree from the University of Tennessee. His career included a wide variety of assignments including Command and Staff positions in Armor and Cavalry. He had two combat tours of duty in Vietnam, both with the Third Squadron, Fourth U.S. Cavalry in the 25 th Infantry Division. Other overseas assignments included 3 years in the 11 th Armored Cavalry Regiment in Germany. Don retired from the military after serving 26 years as an Armor Officer. He was an Airborne Ranger and a graduate of several military schools, including the U.S. Air Force Command and Staff College and the U.S. Army War College. He retired from the Army as the Deputy Assistant Commandant, U.S. Army Armor School, Fort Knox, KY. He was the recipient of numerous awards throughout his career. His awards included the Soldier's Medal, Legion of Merit, Bronze Star medals for Valor and Achievement, Meritorious Service Medals, Air Medals for Valor and Achievement, and Army Commendation Medals for Valor and Achievement. He also held the Army Aviation Crewman's Badge, Parachutist Badge, Ranger Tab and was a proud recipient of the Order of St George - Gold Medallion. Don worked for Lockheed Martin as the Mounted Warfare Test Bed Site Manager at Fort Knox. He supported his community as a volunteer in a number of positions. He was a District Coordinator for Boy Scouts of America, Executive Director and Secretary of Armor Association and was a Founding Director of the National Armor and Cavalry Heritage Foundation and served as the first Secretary. He was a dedicated member and Vice Chair of the former CORE committee, a group of civilians and military who worked with Congress and the Senate to support the mission of Fort Knox and the surrounding community and served on the Patton Museum Board. Don was the Captain and Director of the "Big Canon Lake Lodge Fishing Friends" group. Fishing with his family and friends in Canada was one of his greatest joys. He gathered a group together yearly for 35 years and his name will continue there for years to come. The owners honored him when they named a favorite fishing area of his "Appler Bay". He loved his faith, his family, his friends, Alabama football, fishing, and his Wednesday lunch group. He will be greatly missed by all who knew him. He was a very active member of Memorial United Methodist Church serving on several committees and as a Sunday School teacher. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to his Sunday School class, Potpourri Sunday School Class, Memorial United Methodist Church, 631 North Miles Street, Elizabethtown, KY, 42701. Visitation will be Tuesday, April 17th from 4 PM to 8 PM at Brown Funeral Home, 306 College Street, Elizabethtown, KY 42701. Visitation will continue on Wednesday, April 18th at Memorial United Methodist Church, Elizabethtown, KY from 9 AM until 10:30 AM. The funeral service will follow at 10:30 a.m. at Memorial United Methodist Church with Rev. Neil Janes officiating. Burial will follow in Kentucky Veterans Cemetery Central in Radcliff, KY at 12:30 PM. Condolences may be expressed online at


Tuesday, April 17, 2018 from 4:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Brown Funeral Home

Wednesday, April 18, 2018 from 9:00 AM to 10:30 AM
Memorial United Methodist Church


Wednesday, April 18, 2018 starting at 10:30 AM
Memorial United Methodist Church

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