Don was born in Denver, Colorado in 1932, and joined the Navy in 1949. During the Korean War, Don served aboard the USS Comstock and was stationed in Sasebo, Japan. He sailed on the Jason ARH from San Francisco to Sasebo, and at the age of 21 was a cockswain of a Landing Craft Medium, delivering shells and supplies from the ship to shore and back. During this service he was badly injured and spent 16 months in Navy Hospitals in Japan and the U.S.
After his discharge from the Navy, Don earned an Associate Arts degree from San Diego Junior College, a Bachelor of Arts degree from San Diego State College, and a Masters in Public Administration from the University of Southern California (“USC”), where he also completed his post-graduate work (all-but dissertation).
Don was manager of production quality control at Essex Wire Corporation in San Diego. After this he worked for San Diego County as a probation and parole officer responsible for pre-sentencing reports. He worked as a counselor at an institution for juvenile offenders. He was then Research Director of Projects at the Youth Studies Center at the University of Southern California where he excelled in obtaining Federal grants to promote the work of the Center.
In 1965, Don came to Washington D.C. as Deputy Director of Recruitment and Training for the Job Corps in the Office of Economic Opportunity. He then joined the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (“HUD”) as a senior manager in the Model Cities Program. As Director of Evaluation for Community Development Programs, Don was very involved in effecting the major transition from categorical grant programs to the Community Development Block Grant Program.
In 1981, Don was designated Acting Assistant Secretary during the transition from the Carter to Reagan Administrations, and served as a Deputy Assistant Secretary for the Community Planning and Development until his retirement in 1984.
Throughout his distinguished career, Don’s many awards included HUD’s Distinguished Service Award, the Presidential Rank Award, and the USC Distinguished Alumni Practitioner Award.
After Don retired from government service, he did consulting work and volunteered for Arlington County elections, serving as Chief of the polling place at Glebe Elementary School for a number of years.
Don was predeceased by his wife, Marcia, as well as his son, Donald G. Dodge, Jr. and his grandson, Stephen P. Dodge. Don is survived by his daughter Cheryl A. Higgs (Paul) and son Brian S. Dodge, his grandsons Justin M. Higgs and Tyler M. Higgs, sisters Dorothy Marshall and Norma Lopez, brother Russell Dodge, and numerous loving nieces, nephews and in-laws.
Memorial service will be held Wednesday, April 25, at 11:00 a.m. at St. Mary’s Episcopal Church, 2609 North Glebe Road, Arlington, Virginia.
In lieu of flowers, the family would welcome remembrances made in memory of Donald and Marcia Kavanagh Dodge to the Washington Women’s Chorus.