Donald Willis Bast, a civil engineer and Korean War veteran, died Thursday at his sister's home in Catonsville of complications from colon cancer. He was 73.
Born in Baltimore, Mr. Bast grew up in the Beechfield area. He graduated from Polytechnic Institute in 1947 and earned a degree in civil engineering from the Johns Hopkins University in 1952, family members said.
After graduation, he was commissioned in the Army and served as an engineering unit commander during the Korean War. Six weeks before the end of the war, Mr. Bast was taken prisoner by Chinese forces.
Mr. Bast was released in August 1953. He received the Silver Star, a Purple Heart and several other commendations.
Mr. Bast returned to Baltimore and took an engineering job with Arundel Corp., which dispatched him to West Virginia, New York, Alabama and elsewhere to build dams.
In 1955, he married Margaret Crume of Bardstown, Ky.
Mr. Bast most recently worked with Revay & Associates in Rockville.
A quiet man, Mr. Bast enjoyed flying private planes, horse racing and eating crabs on the Eastern Shore.
A memorial service will be held at 7 p.m. today at MacNabb Funeral Home, 301 Frederick Road, Catonsville.
In addition to his wife, he is survived by a son, Edward Bast of Aliso Viejo, Calif.; three daughters, Barbara Lee of Baltimore, Linda Mowry of Richmond, Va., and Mary Holewinski of Atlanta; a sister, Audrey Kolessar of Catonsville; and nine grandchildren.