Donald Tyler Upton passed peacefully in his home in Shelburne surrounded by his loving family on Thursday afternoon July 27, 2023.
Born in Greenfield, Massachusetts on October 24, 1927, Donald is survived by his wife, Kathleen P. Upton, their two children, daughter Julie Ann Upton-Wang, her husband Peiming Wang, son Mark P. Upton, his wife Joanne Upton and his 4 Grandchildren and 6 Great Grandchildren who all adored him. Donald is the third of five children and is survived by his sister Virginia A. Brown and his brother Charles L. Upton.
Donald is predeceased by his brothers Duncan Upton, Jr. and George H. Upton.
He was married to Kathleen Patch on June 20, 1954 and they celebrated their 69th anniversary this year at the Shelburne Falls Pub and Brew formally known as the Sweetheart Restaurant where there is family history and many wonderful memories.
Donald was very proud of being a resident of Shelburne — describing during Sunday drives to his children and then grandchildren, the history of whose family lived where, how long they had been there and what they had grown or farmed. He was the epitome of a good neighbor and loved his community.
Donald was a resident of Shelburne all of his life, first residing at Adams Ct. during his childhood, and then on Severance Street, and finally to his home on Masonic Ave. Donald attended Arms Academy and graduated in 1945, after which he served for the U.S. Army in the Panama Canal. After his honorable discharge from the military in 1947, he attended college at the Western Massachusetts School of Pharmacy and went on to work at The Baker Pharmacy as a Registered Pharmacist (officially registered on June 10, 1952) where, as a teenager, he had worked as a soda fountain jerk.
In 1967 and again in 1970, he was elected as Selectmen for the Town of Shelburne, where he did his best to govern fairly and well. He was a member of the General Committee for the memorable Bicentennial in 1968 and was appointed registrar for the town in November 2001. He was a member of the Republican Town Committee since 1956, and a member of the Arms Academy Alumni Association, where he had served as president. He was also a member of the local Masons Lodge serving as Senior Past Master in 1960.
In 1992, Donald retired from The Baker Pharmacy and together with his wife Kathleen purchased the Sawyer News Company on Bridge St. They followed in the footsteps of Kathleen’s father, William T. Patch, who had also owned the Sawyer News some decades before. If you were to walk through those doors, whether it was for the morning paper or memorabilia for your visit to Shelburne, you were always greeted with a smile and a warm welcome. After almost 18 years of operating Sawyer News, Donald and Kathleen retired in 2006.
Even in retirement, Donald continued his service to the town as a member of the Trinity Church and on various committees and was also a member of the Shelburne-Buckland Community Center. He spent time at the Shelburne Falls Historical Society and the Village Information Center, and to anyone who would approach him, local or tourist, he would continue to share the stories and the history of this very special iconic village of Shelburne Falls.
Donald loved this community dearly and demonstrated that care every day. A devoted Red Sox fan, Don usually had the latest statistics on hand as well. He was a true gentleman, charming and always kind. However, if you asked Don what was important to him, his response was always “the family”. We will deeply miss his presence in our family. In his honor, we want to share his famous family toast, “To family and friends near and far wherever they are, for that which was, for that which is and for that which will be”.
The family thanks Compassus Hospice for their care.
Friday, August 4 at 11:00am a memorial service will be held at Trinity Church on 17 Severance St. in Shelburne Falls
followed by a burial at Arms Cemetery.
After the burial, a reception will be held at the Shelburne Falls Pub and Brew at the Sweetheart, 42 South Maple St. Shelburne Falls.
In lieu of flowers, given his commitment to the town of Shelburne, donations in memory of Donald should be sent:
Shelburne Falls Historical Society: https://shelburnehistoricalsocietyma.wordpress.com/facebook/
Arms Library: https://www.armslibrary.org/donate
Bridge of Flowers: https://www.bridgeofflowersmass.org/contribute
For directions or to send condolences please go to: https://www.smithkelleherfuneralhome.com/