Donald Ross Trowbridge, 81, of Carterville, passed away Monday, February 20, 2023, at Parkway Manor in Marion.
Private services were held Saturday, February 25, 2023, at Willowrest Cemetery in Carterville, Illinois.
Don was born September 13, 1941, in Alton, IL to Ross Elvie and Edna Marie (Schumann) Trowbridge. He married Laurie Frances Smith on September 9, 1967, in Carbondale, Illinois.
He is survived by his wife of 54 years, Laurie Trowbridge of Carterville; daughter, Dr. Christina (Trowbridge) McDowell and son, Steven Trowbridge, who both currently reside in Los Angeles, California.
Don was preceded in death by his parents; aunt and uncle, Edna and Floyd Jacobs -- who raised him from a young age -- and his brother, John.
Don attended Southern Illinois University in Carbondale (SIU-C) on a track scholarship and earned both his bachelors and masters degrees in mechanical engineering.
He was a member of the Saluki Cross Country team from 1960-63 and lettered in ’60, ’61 and ’63. The 1960 SIU-C Cross Country team was undefeated in 1960 and won the IIAC conference in 1961.
Always an avid runner, he was elected to the Alton High School Athletic Association Hall of Fame Inaugural class of 1958. He remained an active runner for decades and was a fixture at local races for many years. He and his daughter participated in the River to River Relay on several occasions.
Through the years, Don contributed to major projects and innovations at Olin and Primex, ending his five-decade career as Director of Research and Development for General Dynamics in Marion in 2017. While working with the Olin Corporation he was part of the team in Paris who developed the first commercial automotive airbag system. He is listed on the original patent dated November 20, 1973.
Don’s lifelong passion for both athletics and academics led him to contribute as a friend and mentor to SIU Track & Field, the engineering school and new hires at General Dynamics.
In lieu of flowers, memorials can be made to the Saluki Athletic Scholarship Fund (https://salukifunder.siu.edu/project/22704) or the SIU Athletic Department.
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