Don enrolled in LSU’s School of Environmental Design in 1965. In 1968 he enlisted in the military for four years, where he spent three years serving in the U S Navy nuclear submarine service on board the USS Patrick Henry. While in the Navy he met and married his wife of 42 years, Mary, and in 1972 they chose Brusly as hometown to raise and educate their family. He returned to LSU, and in 1974 received a Bachelor of Architecture degree. Don then began working for the Capital Region Planning Commission and after 36 years working with local governments in southeast Louisiana, he retired as Executive Director to pursue his hobbies of fishing, woodworking, gardening and grandchildren.