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 Devastating news about Don Stephens

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Shelagh
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PostSubject: Devastating news about Don Stephens   Tue Jan 19, 2016 4:29 pm

It is with deep regret and profound sadness that I have to tell everyone here that Don Stephens died on December 6th, 2015, under distressing circumstances. Don last visited on December 5th, although he did not post anything on the forum. I did a search on the 'net and found that he and his wife both died in early December of last year. You can read about the sad circumstances of their deaths here:

http://www.dailyherald.com/article/20151207/news/151209108/

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Domenic Pappalardo
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PostSubject: Re: Devastating news about Don Stephens   Tue Jan 19, 2016 5:17 pm

I did not know Don very well. I have to think on this. I may, or I may not comment. This is a sad event.
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alice
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PostSubject: Re: Devastating news about Don Stephens   Tue Jan 19, 2016 6:10 pm

I am so sorry.
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joefrank
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PostSubject: Re: Devastating news about Don Stephens   Tue Jan 19, 2016 8:32 pm

1/20

                        Shelagh..

                     Thank you for the info, I'm in a state of shock, !

                                                   Joe

DJ Stephens ......



         


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dtpollard
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PostSubject: Re: Devastating news about Don Stephens   Tue Jan 19, 2016 8:36 pm

This is so sad. I wish the best for their souls and loved ones. We never know of the struggles others are dealing with in their private lives.
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Abe F. March
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PostSubject: Re: Devastating news about Don Stephens   Tue Jan 19, 2016 10:38 pm

I am devastated at this news.  I had kept in touch with Don on a regular basis.  My last two emails were unanswered and that should have alerted me, but I assumed that he was busy with other things.  I knew his wife was ill and we discussed the care-giving of our wives.  Don had back problems that were mentioned on several of his posts.  He was always prompt to send his regards and best wishes for care-giving of my wife.  He said that it was necessary for him to carry his wife even to the toilet, a difficult thing to do with his back problems. 
I have all his books and on the introduction to each, he writes:  “To Lynnie, thanks again.”  
He loved his wife.  He told me that she would not be getting better.  I am convinced that it was a mercy killing and I further assume that his life would have been empty without her and thus took his own life.  Understanding why doesn’t erase the sorrow that he is no longer with us.  He was an honorable man.  He served his country and was a decorated soldier.  His books about action in the Far-East are revealing, not only with his participation, but also with the politics involved.  His first book:  “Bear Killer” is a masterpiece. 
Don was part Native American.  His knowledge of the Native American is evident in the writing of this book. 
 

Don, you have enriched our lives.  Rest in Peace. You are not forgotten.
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Abe F. March
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PostSubject: Re: Devastating news about Don Stephens   Tue Jan 19, 2016 11:35 pm

Forgot to mention that Don’s sister, Patty, had cancer and was receiving Chemo treatments.  She was doing better, but still suffering.    
In Don’s book, “Halo” the first book where he used the name “Barkill” (the name of the main character, a take off of “Bearkiller”) that I now believe was Don.  His boss in the book was named “Kelly” (don’t know his real name).  The second book in the saga was “Tarnished Halo”.  In discussing this with Don I asked him how much truth was involved in the book.  He responded by saying that he could not talk about it.  He and his boss had signed a statement and were not permitted to talk about their activities while they were still alive. That meant that someone else would have to reveal their involvement   It further tells me that although the book was “fiction” there was much truth in his story.   The involvement of the CIA in Clandestine operations are written about by various top authors in fictional books.  If you read my reviews of Don’s books you will note my five-star ratings.  He was an unrecognized great author – a master of intrigue.  That intrigue is more meaningful knowing that much truth (or even factual information) was written. 
 
I am fortunate to have known some exceptional people on this Author’s forum.  Ann Joiner was an exceptional person that contributed much to the forum.  Carol Trostler was a special person that I had the pleasure of meeting in person.  Dick Stodghill was another that I could call friend.  Don Stephens is/was exceptional in various ways and I’m proud that I could call him, “friend”.   We did not always see eye-to-eye on every subject, especially “gun control”, but that did not affect our friendship.  One can have opposing views on issues, but that should not affect friendship.


Last edited by Abe F. March on Wed Jan 20, 2016 10:26 am; edited 1 time in total
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Abe F. March
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PostSubject: Re: Devastating news about Don Stephens   Wed Jan 20, 2016 6:54 am

It has been a bad day just thinking about Don and what he must have been going through that caused him to take the action he did.  It fills me with sadness and anger.  Democratic Socialism would have been an assist in caring for his wife.  As a Veteran, there should have been help available.  When I think about the help available where I am and not available for others makes me angry.  Those opposed to a good healthcare program have not experienced a need – yet. 
I’ve tried to understand why he took the action he did.  He loved his wife and I’m convinced it was a mercy killing.  Knowing that his action would cause him to spend the rest of his life in jail may have meant to him that he was already dead and therefore the suicide instead of going through a trial.  He was a person that took responsibility for his actions and most likely did the only thing he felt appropriate.  I hope that someone goes through his files.  He may have made notations of his involvement with the clandestine operations in Southeast Asia. 
For those who knew and loved Don, do yourself a favor and read at least one of his books.
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Domenic Pappalardo
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PostSubject: Re: Devastating news about Don Stephens   Wed Jan 20, 2016 10:45 am

I have been thinking about Don, and the taking of a life. I have always believed, “It is better to die, than to kill.” Don lived five days after he killed his wife. The note he left did not say she wanted to die. It did not say she asked him to take her life. It is my own personal opinion…“Taking the life of another is wrong.” The five days after the killing upsets me. Don knew he would have to stand before the law, and it would be assured he would spend his remaining days behind bars. I don’t know, but the note he left does not vindicate his action…not to me. It may to many on this forum, but not to me.
It is my opinion his action was wrong. My prayers go to the victim of his decision…his wife. I may be wrong in my thinking for most on this forum…the taking of a life is not anywhere in my thinking. It is not for religious reasons I feel this way…it is what my heart tells me. Never could I ever kill another human for any reason.
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PostSubject: Re: Devastating news about Don Stephens   Wed Jan 20, 2016 11:41 am

Your God will judge Don, Domenic. He took a life and then took his own life. I have shed many tears at the thought of how ill Don must have been to do such a thing. My overwhelming feeling is one of sadness. May they both rest in peace in the arms of a forgiving God.

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Abe F. March
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PostSubject: Re: Devastating news about Don Stephens   Wed Jan 20, 2016 12:24 pm

Shelagh, you expressed my feelings.
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joefrank
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PostSubject: Re: Devastating news about Don Stephens   Wed Jan 20, 2016 12:43 pm

1/20

                I agree with Shelagh and yet I know how Don must have felt why because I
was in the same situation almost three years ago with my partner who was ill with 
Dementia which was turning into Alzheimers, it's very tough when you have no one to
help you, and at the same time your heart is torn from your chest , you love this person
for more years than you can imagine and you don't want to put them in a care center 
better known as a " Home," I was lucky and got some help from Presbyterian Care and I
met a lady who was an angel , her name Debroe, they taught me certain things helped me
get the equipment needed for him, taught me what a gate belt was ( a gate belt is used on
a ill patient when they stand to keep them straight so they don't fall as they use a walker,
this kind of belt is used in therapy and they give you one after therapy to use, so you don't
get pulled forward or backwards and break something.) The sad part is you can't get any
help unless the person is on their death bed ( I forgot the term used,) thank God he died 
peacefully in his sleep and I knew in my heart I did what I did out of love. I know what Don
was going through one one hand I feel for his torment but I can't condone killing someone
Mercy killing, but that's between God and him, may both their souls be at rest.

                                                             Joe
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Domenic Pappalardo
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PostSubject: Re: Devastating news about Don Stephens   Wed Jan 20, 2016 1:08 pm

Shelagh wrote:
Your God will judge Don, Domenic. He took a life and then took his own life. I have shed many tears at the thought of how   ill Don must have been to do such a thing. My overwhelming feeling is one of sadness. May they both rest in peace in the arms of a forgiving God.

God says he does forgive. He also says under the rule of Jesus, he will give everybody 1,000 years to change. I'm sure Don did not kill his wife as a murder. He did something that was not his to do.
Many confuse the scriptures when they read God forgives, all one need do is ask. What they do not understand, God does not remove the consequences. There is a price to pay. I have no idea what that price will be? If there was no consequences, people would take advantage of the forgiveness. The five days Don waited to take his own life gives me the feeling he was not sure he did the right thing?
It is never wise to do something major the same day you decide to do it. Over the years, I have talked to many people saying they were going to commit suicide. I always ask them to wait two days. As long as they are going to do it, what is another two days? I have never lost one yet...more times than not, the next morning they are glad they are still alive.
One young women (19) about fifty miles from me told everybody on face book to leave her alone, she was going to do it now. I called the police in her area, and they tracked her via her FB. She called me every name there is for calling the police. Turns out she was just looking for attention. Tell me, and I will do everything I can to stop you.
What Don did can't be undone...if there is anybody reading this thread who feels life is not worth living...please talk to somebody...please.
There was a young man who jumped off the Golden gate bridge...he lived. here is what he said. "The second I let go of the rail, I knew i made a mistake." People don't normally live when they jump off the Golden Gate bridge. Hitting the water from that height is like hitting cement.
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Betty Fasig
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PostSubject: Re: Devastating news about Don Stephens   Wed Jan 20, 2016 3:55 pm

Joe, I am with your voice on this.  I cannot fathom the killing of someone you love . But, I have not been put in that position and cannot judge.  I know that Don was a kind and loving person and one who valued life as few can after being in combat and doing what that requires.  May they bot go to God in peace.  No judging here.  Love Betty
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E. Don Harpe
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PostSubject: Re: Devastating news about Don Stephens   Thu Jan 21, 2016 7:26 pm

I can't add much to the discussion. I believe as Abe does. I think he killed his wife to make the pain go away, took care of some unfinished business, and then ended his own life because he did not want to live without her. Another case of making the pain go away, this time his own.

Like some of the others, I was in contact with Don outside of the forum. He offered some invaluable technical advice about high altitude parachute jumps when Phil Whitley and I were writing Sundown Two, and I was really grateful for his help. He was always very nice to me, and the best I could tell we had a friendly relationship, even though we hadn't met and were not actually friends in real life. I do not know how any of us could have advised him on the situation at home, even had he asked, so perhaps it's best that he didn't. I will add my own Rest in Peaceful Sleep, Don. Face the afterlife as you did this one, as a warrior and an honorable man.
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Abe F. March
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PostSubject: Re: Devastating news about Don Stephens   Thu Jan 21, 2016 9:01 pm

Appreciate your thoughts, Don.  I've had sleepless nights just thinking about Don.  I started reading his books again, beginning with "Tarnished Halo".  It is the book that reveals much about the clandestine/CIA operations in S.E. Asia.
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PostSubject: Re: Devastating news about Don Stephens   Sat Jan 23, 2016 12:31 pm

Dom, you mentioned something about the note he left.  Did you see or read the note?  I have found nothing about the contents of a note, just reference to it.  If you know what the note said, please let me know.
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PostSubject: Re: Devastating news about Don Stephens   Sat Jan 23, 2016 7:48 pm

Abe F. March wrote:
Dom, you mentioned something about the note he left.  Did you see or read the note?  I have found nothing about the contents of a note, just reference to it.  If you know what the note said, please let me know.

Abe, The police said he left a note. The only person they told what was in the note was his son. I don't know what is in the note. The police are treating the case as a murder-suicide. For some reason, they are not treating the case as, a mercy suicide. Maybe it has something to do with what he was doing over the five days after he killed his wife?
Whatever his reason, he had no right to do what he did.We all belong to God, and when a person kill another human, they are destroying Gods property. I am not judging Don, or his actions. We will all stand before God for what we do, or don't do.
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PostSubject: Re: Devastating news about Don Stephens   Sun Jan 24, 2016 1:14 am

Thanks Dom.  I wonder how or if we will ever learn what was written in the note.  It may help with the closure needed.
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PostSubject: Re: Devastating news about Don Stephens   Sun Jan 24, 2016 11:15 am

If her pain was unbearable and untreatable, then ending her life was the only humane option. I'd call that "assisted suicide" if she was able to participate in the decision and "mercy killing" if she was not. 

I watched my mother suffer and deteriorate for a year with pancreatic cancer. It was a horrible year for her and for those of us around her. Imagine a full year of vomiting anything you ate, excruciating pain in your gut, and wasting away to about 70 pounds before dying under sedation. Imagine watching someone you love go through that. Imagine watching your father go to work, cook for three kids, then spend the rest of his time at the hospital by her side. Until he wound up in the same hospital with an ulcer and a heart attack.

Experience all that before you say no one has the right to mercifully end such suffering.

Don did his loving duty as he saw it. His memory does not deserve that kind of condemnation. His grieving survivors do not need to read the clucking disapproval of others who did not endure with him as he watched his beloved wife perish too slowly and who have no way of remotely understanding the agony of such a situation. If they truly believe in a merciful God, then they must know that Don had the requisite blessing to do what he needed to do.

I hope if I get to that point, someone will have the balls to pull the plug. Or the trigger. Or to let me do it.

Rest in peace, Don. Your suffering has ended too.
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Abe F. March
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PostSubject: Re: Devastating news about Don Stephens   Sun Jan 24, 2016 11:43 am

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PostSubject: Re: Devastating news about Don Stephens   Sun Jan 24, 2016 12:22 pm

1/24

                       Isn't it interesting how my post disappeared ?

                                                Joe
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alice
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PostSubject: Re: Devastating news about Don Stephens   Sun Jan 24, 2016 2:12 pm

Joe, which one?
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PostSubject: Re: Devastating news about Don Stephens   Sun Jan 24, 2016 2:21 pm

1/24

                 Here it is a second time: I said I believe the note Don left will never be
open to the public only to his son and I'm sure he wouldn't want anyone to read 
something that personal and the police never release notes like that, I believe we
should leave Don and his wife in peace, God rest their souls, we will never have 
the answer.....


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PostSubject: Re: Devastating news about Don Stephens   Sun Jan 24, 2016 2:27 pm

Al Stevens wrote:
If her pain was unbearable and untreatable, then ending her life was the only humane option.
 
Euthanasia is illegal in the UK. Legalising mercy killings would not permit anyone in the UK to assist or take the life of another; only a qualified medical doctor would be allowed to assist in allowing someone to die. This has been strongly resisted by all UK political parties in light of the number of patients killed by a GP, Dr. Harold Shipman, in Manchester several years ago. Convicted of murdering 15 people, a report later concluded Shipman was responsible for at least 215 deaths over a 25 year period. The trusted GP was transformed into one of the most notorious murderers the world has ever known, proof that laws allowing assisted deaths would be abused far too easily.

Al Stevens wrote:
I watched my mother suffer and deteriorate for a year with pancreatic cancer.

My brother died from pancreatic cancer at the age of forty-three. He left a five year old daughter and an eight year old son. The sight of these two children at their father's graveside broke everyone's hearts; some had to leave the churchyard because of their distress. We all suffered, even though my brother suffered the most.

Al Stevens wrote:
Experience all that before you say no one has the right to mercifully end such suffering.

No one has a right to end someone else's life.

Al Stevens wrote:
Don did his loving duty as he saw it. His memory does not deserve that kind of condemnation. His grieving survivors do not need to read the clucking disapproval of others who did not endure with him as he watched his beloved wife perish too slowly and who have no way of remotely understanding the agony of such a situation. If they truly believe in a merciful God, then they must know that Don had the requisite blessing to do what he needed to do.

Don had no one's blessing; he had their forgiveness.

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