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
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).

The mailing dates on these post cards were 1927!  West Shore Cabins was known as “West Shore Inn” back then!

Murray and Anna Donaldson the original owner
The front and back of an old business card when Ralph Soule owned guess date approximately late 40s early 50s
Newspaper clipping from 1937