1939 – 2016

WELD — Donald “Don” Chipman died peacefully at home on Thursday, Aug. 18 after a brief illness.

Don was born on May 1, 1939 in Auburn, N.Y. Upon graduating from high school Don attended Paul Smith’s College and West Virginia University, achieving a bachelor’s degree in forestry and silviculture. After college he enlisted in the U.S. Navy and spent four years on active duty. Don reflected with pride and fondness on his time in the Navy, especially being deployed on the U.S.S. Intrepid where he was a gunnery officer.

Near the end of his enlistment he met a cute brunette in a bar in New York City. The brunette, Sandi Hodgetts, became his wife in 1965. Don and Sandi spent their honeymoon traveling the east coast looking for employment. He landed a job with Oxford Paper that year and the couple made their home in Weld. Don retired in 1998.

Throughout the years, Don was deeply involved in the community. He was a master mason at Mystic Tie Masonic Lodge #154 for many years, and was known as a great source of masonic knowledge. Indeed, over the years, many a mason sought him out for help in learning the craft. Don was a member of the Weld Volunteer Fire Department and for many years was an EMT. He served on various town committees and was a board member of the Weld Public Library.

Don was in the truest sense of the word a handyman. He enjoyed fixing things or building them. No repairman ever crossed the threshold of his home in Weld, unless it was really beyond his abilities — which wasn’t very often. Frugality ran deep in Don. His grandson Riley can tell the story of a haircut delivered by Grampy using the scissors from his Swiss Army knife. Don enjoyed woodworking, classical music and movies. He was a voracious reader and had yet to find a crossword puzzle he couldn’t solve. He also enjoyed cribbage, although his daughter?in?law beat him often, risking banishment from the family.

The past few years were hard for Don as he watched his wife of 51 years battle severe dementia. At times he could still see that cute brunette from the barstool in New York. More often he had to see the shell of the woman he loved and had spent a lifetime with.

Don is survived by his wife, Sandi; his daughter, Becky and husband, John Bell, grandson, Riley Bell, of Weld; son, Brian Chipman and wife, Shelly, grandson, Charlie, all of New Gloucester; and sister, Chip Clark of St. Johns, Newfoundland.

To nobody’s surprise Don lived his life his way right up until the end. He requested no formal funeral or internment, but instead directed that a party be held in his honor. Condolences and tributes may be shared on his memorial wall at www.wilesrc.com.

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