Born April 16, 1959 in Kirksville, MO, Don is the oldest child of Donald and Betty Waterman who owned and operated a 260 acre dairy farm in Lewis County, MO. He attended grade school in Williamstown, MO and graduated from Canton R-V, Canton, MO in May 1977.
In October 1977 Don reported for Recruit Training at Naval Training Center, Great Lakes, IL beginning what would become a 24 year career in the U. S. Navy. While in the Navy he met and married Kimberly (Kitty) McKinney. They adopted a daughter, Alisha, in 1986. During Don’s time in the Navy they lived in a variety of locations around the U.S. including San Diego, CA; Washington, DC; Virginia Beach, VA; Kansas City, MO and Newport, RI. In 1987 Kitty was diagnosed with a form of muscular dystrophy.
When Don retired from the Navy in 2001, they located to Columbia, MO where Don began work at the University of Missouri beginning as an Office Support Staff, then Executive Staff Assistant and finally a Technical Trainer teaching computer programs and skills to faculty, staff and students.
In 2006, Kitty passed away from the complications of muscular dystrophy. Following this, Don decided to return to school, completing his Bachelor’s Degree in 2010 through MU in the Evening. That summer Don left the University and moved to the Chicago area where he completed a Masters Degree from Trinity International University in 2013. He then returned to Columbia and began work at Bass Shops, first as an associate then becoming a Team Lead in the fall of 2013.
Don enjoys a good book, football, working outdoors in the yard and hunting, fishing and competitive pistol shooting. He is a Life Member of the National Rifle Association. Don is a former member and deacon of First Presbyterian Church in Columbia and Cornerstone Evangelical Free Church in Glenview, IL. He and Amy are currently members of The Crossing Church in Columbia.
In 2011, Don’s daughter Alisha was hospitalized for 4 days for psychiatric evaluation. Over the next two years her symptoms became worse. In 2013 Alisha was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia. Living through the trials of watching her deny she needed help, being unable to make her comply with treatment and seeing first-hand the lack of funding and resources available to those in similar situations led Don to the decision of seeking elected office to address these issues.