A celebration of life for Donald Mashtare was held on August 13 at Donald & Norma’s home at 8888 US Route 2 following a ceremony at the Jerusalem Cemetery at 11:30am. Donald had passed earlier this year to rejoin Norma. Let’s all take some time to reflect on a rich life lived –
January 1937-January 2022
January 1937-January 2022
Donald was born in North Hero, VT January 3, 1937 to Clifford and Mary Jane (Hutchins) Mashtare. One of 8 children – his given name was Donaldson Hall Mashtare – (Donaldson – the last name of the kind folks his mother worked for and Hall – the doctor who delivered him). He grew up across the bridge over Lake Champlain in Alburgh, VT. His hard work ethic started at a young age – as he delighted in telling the story of working for a local farmer and crashing the farmer’s truck into a utility pole at the age of 10.
He pursued the love of his life, Norma Jean (Soule) to the chagrin of his soon to be in-laws and they married in 1955. They moved to the booming industrial region of Connecticut for work and started their lives building their family. Norma reflected on Donald’s work ethic – stating factory bosses wondered if more hard workers like him could be found up in VT.
They eventually moved back north – Donald joining a construction company with his father in-law Ralph O. Soule – as they worked on the New York Interstate system (US90 and US87). As a member of the IUOE (International Union of Operating Engineers) – Donald became a licensed crane operator and mastered that profession until he retired in 1998. Never one to sit around – bending the union rules joining the laborers in the ditches landed him with union grievances on at least one occasion.
In 1963 they moved back to the Lake Champlain islands – living out their lives in North Hero. Full circle – they purchased West Shore Cabins from Norma’s parents in 1969 – which, by the way, was formerly the Donaldson property prior to that. Here they spent many years providing a summer vacation spot that would build memories for generations to come and making a lot of wonderful friends.
Donald was also a Master in the Masonic Lodge, a member of the Eastern Star and put a lot of years in as a member of the North Hero Volunteer Fire Department. Hard worker and yet never shy of having a good time with family and friends – Donald and Norma spent time as snowbirds in retirement years, enjoying good times in Florida and back to North Hero for the spring-fall seasons to run West Shore Cabins.
Donald was predeceased by Norma and now they are reunited – on August 13 (their wedding anniversary day).