Donald S. FieldNovember 15, 1926 ~ December 14, 2017 (age 91)
Donald Shafter Field died peacefully in his home in Glastonbury, Connecticut on December 14, 2017, surrounded by his six loving children. Born in Hartford on November 15, 1926, Donald was the youngest of the five children of Marion and Archie Field. When Donald was just ten years old, his father Archie passed away unexpectedly. Don would miss his father for the rest of his life, often telling stories of his wrestling matches with his father, which generally ended with some piece of furniture destroyed and an irate mother. After the death of his father, Donald spent his summers working on his cousin’s farm in West Barnet, Vermont, where he developed a deep love for the Green Mountains, the smell of freshly cut hay, and animals of all kinds.
Donald volunteered for the Army Air Corps in 1944 when he was just 19 years old, was trained as a navigator, and stationed first in France and later Bavaria. Kind, generous, and outgoing, Donald easily made friends wherever he went, including with the recently defeated Germans, of whom he spoke affectionately all of his life. Through his stories and example, he taught his children and grandchildren there is no such thing as an enemy, that kindness and compassion are more powerful than weapons, and forgiveness more enduring than vindictiveness and hate.
Donald often told his children there is no sickness worse than homesickness, which he endured while stationed overseas, witnessing the widespread devastation across Europe. Upon his return to the States, he decided it was time to find a nice girl and settle down. The problem, however, was his mother, Marion, liked none of the young women he brought around. Until, that is, he introduced her to Lois Burnham, the beautiful, unassuming young woman Donald was particularly smitten with. “This one’s a keeper,” She told her youngest son. Donald agreed, so keep her he did, for the remaining 70 years of his life.Donald and Lois were married on October 1, 1949 and together had seven children and eleven grandchildren. They built a home on Shipman Drive, overlooking the rolling hills and apple orchards of South Glastonbury, choosing the location because the view reminded Donald of the Green Mountains of Vermont.
Donald worked hard all of his life to provide for his family, waking at 2:30 each morning and arriving back home after 4:OO pm. Despite a grueling work schedule, he still found time to teach Sunday school and later act as Superintendent at the Congregational Church of South Glastonbury for over 20 years. He had a kind word and quick smile for everyone he met, and was the most popular milkman Hoods and later Mohawk Farms ever had, befriending everyone on his route, including stray dogs, several of which he brought home. He often arrived home late after taking time to fix an elderly customer’s window or clearing the sidewalk for another. The Hartford Courant once wrote a feature story honoring him called, “The Last Milkman.” To Donald, the words “Do unto others as you would have others do unto you” were more than just words from the Bible, they were his life’s motto. Whether bringing Christmas gifts to his favorite bank teller and gas station attendant or shoveling the driveway for his neighbor, Donald quietly, without seeking credit or praise, made the world a better place.Donald is predeceased by his parents Marion and Archie Field, his three brothers, Archie Field, Jr., Robert Field, and Richard Field, sister Dorothy Green, son Henry Field, and his beloved wife of 68 years, Lois Burnham Field, who passed away in his arms on March 10th of this year. He is survived and will be desperately missed by his six children: Donna Field of Manchester, William Field and his wife Debbie of East Hampton, Elisabeth Kennedy of Coventry, Virginia Huhn and her husband Fredrick of Hebron, Janice Trombley of Coventry, and Katie Field of Tolland. He also leaves behind eleven grandchildren, whom he loved beyond measure.
A celebration of the life of Donald Field will be held on Thursday, December 21 at 1:00 PM at the Congregational Church of South Glastonbury, located at 949 Main Street in South Glastonbury CT. In lieu of flowers, donations in Donald’s memory to the Masonicare Charity Foundation in Wallingford or the Congregational Church of South Glastonbury will be gratefully accepted. To leave online condolences please visit www.spencerfuneralhomeinc.com.