Donavon Macura knew he was going to serve his country even before he earned his high school diploma, and it wasn’t long after graduation that the 2016 Glacier High School graduate enlisted in the Marine Corps.
“He knew he was going to go in right away,” Ross Dankers, a Glacier teacher and the school’s head wrestling coach, said. “He was definitely excited and proud to be a Marine.”
Macura, 20, died last week after collapsing during a 3-mile training run near the U.S. Military base in Okinawa, Japan, where he was stationed. His sudden death shook the Glacier community, particularly within the wrestling program, where Macura grappled for four years and was a team captain as a senior.
Dankers posted a Facebook message on May 26 sharing news of Macura’s passing, and within three days that message had been shared more than 125 times and solicited dozens of comments from those who knew Macura and those who just knew of him.
“I think (people) could tell, even if they didn’t know him, what kind of kid he was,” Dankers said.
Macura qualified for the Class AA state wrestling tournament three times, but it was his contribution to the program off the mat that Dankers said made even more of an impression.
“He would take care of everyone, regardless of who you were, whether you were the best guy or the worst kid or anyone in between,” Dankers said. “He had a great perspective on showing compassion and love to teammates.”
As a high school student, Macura was a teaching assistant for Dankers in addition to his wrestling.
“He was just kind of an all-around amazing young man, the type of kid that you would want your own son to be,” Dankers said. “He stood for what the Marines stands for: doing the right things, working hard, being disciplined, watching out for each other.”
A funeral has been planned for Friday, June 8 at 4 p.m. at Canvas Church, 255 Summit Ridge Drive in Kalispell.