Donald Verne McKersie, age 87 of Grand Rapids, passed away Thursday, June 28, 2012. He was preceded in death by his son, Michael James McKersie. He is survived by his wife of 66 years, Margaret; children, Patricia Ann (Frank) Pennell, Mark Daniel (Peggy) McKersie; grandchildren, Matthew (Julia) Pennell, Nathan (Julie) Pennell, Cherith (Chris) Stewart, Corrie Pennell, Katie (Joel) Hamilton, Vincent Pennell, Chay Pennell, Molly Jeanne McKersie and Michael David McKersie; great-grandchildren, Seth, Katherine, Elizabeth, Michelle, Anna, Savanna, Carson, Taylor, Grant, Brianna, Jordon, Ben, Myah. Don was a true pioneer in the telecommunications industry. In 1969 after serving Michigan Bell Telephone Company for 27 years, he left his management position to form one of the first privately owned telephone companies in the country to compete against then giant AT&T. He was also a founding member of the North American Telecommunication Association which helped develop fair and open competition within the telecommunications industry. Don is a veteran of the United States Army and fought in WWII under Lieutenant General George S. Patton’s Third Army Golden Acorn Division in the Battle of the Bulge. This battle was the largest and costliest action ever fought by the U.S. Army, which suffered over 100,000 casualties. Don was an avid golfer and member of Cascade Hills Country Club for 39 years. He achieved 5 Hole in One’s over his lifetime. His greatest joy in life was spending time with his wife of 66 years, children, grand children, great grandchildren and lifelong friends. Funeral services will be Tuesday 11:00 AM at the O’Brien-Eggebeen-Gerst Chapel, 3980 Cascade Rd. SE, Chaplain Frank Pennell, officiating. Visitation Monday 2-4 & 6-8 PM. Memorial contributions may be made to the John Celestino Scholarship Endowment, Development Office, 420 Oak St., Prakken 101, Big Rapids, Michigan 49307.