Loving husband, father, and grandfather
U. S. Air Force Vietnam Veteran
Donald Henry Vallerand, 74, of Milford, New Hampshire, formerly of Tyngsborough and Lowell, passed away peacefully on October 31, 2017, in Bedford, NH, surrounded by his family. He was the beloved husband of Elizabeth (Griffin) Vallerand, his high school sweetheart, with whom he shared 50 years of marriage.
Born in Toronto, Canada, August 6, 1943, a son of the late Joseph and Irene Vallerand. He was raised in the Highlands neighborhood of Lowell, and graduated from Lowell High School with the Class of 1961. He furthered his education at the University of Lowell and East Coast Aero Tech, becoming a fully licensed aviation mechanic.
In 1961, he enlisted in the U. S. Air Force as an aircraft maintenance technician, and began what would become a lifelong love affair with aviation. Don received the Good Conduct Medal and was honorably discharged in 1965.
Over the years, he worked at several airports in New England and Michigan, and for a time, operated his own business - New Hampshire Aviation. When Don took a full-time position teaching aviation technology at Wentworth Institute in 1979, he discovered his true passion and talent. In 1991, Don was approached by New Hampshire Technical College to develop and manage an aviation curriculum. In 1992, as Director and Professor, he launched a fully certified Aviation Technology Program geared toward those seeking to become licensed aircraft mechanics. Often telling new enrollees “Aviation is a disease for which there is no known cure”, he will be remembered for his devotion to each student’s success. He taught passionately for 34 years in all, retiring in 2016.
He received numerous awards over the years, but on October 24, 2017, he proudly accepted the prestigious Charles Taylor Master Mechanic Award, presented by the Federal Aviation Administration, honoring his 57 years of dedicated service to the aviation community.
While sharing his love of airplanes was his utmost joy and honor, he also enjoyed stamp collecting, creating art with stained glass, chess, and fresh water fishing, and was also a Sherlock Holmes and Nero Wolfe buff. He was a kind, generous man, who will always be remembered for his love of family, and all things airborne.
Besides his wife, he is survived by three daughters, Michelle Castell and her husband Christopher of Amherst, NH, Mary Fleres and her husband Michael of Trenton, NJ, and Rebecca Vallerand and her husband Christopher Anderson of Tyngsborough, and five grandchildren ranging in ages from seven to 18. He is also survived by his wonderful family in Canada: Claire and Gary Robichaud, and Suzanne Rozman, all of Ontario, and Denise LaRose, Jean LaRose and Celine Deslauriers, all of Quebec. Finally, he is survived by his uncle, Robert Duncan of Lynn, with whom he shared a lifelong friendship, and innumerable interests. He was the brother of the late Norman LaRose.
VALLERAND - Friends will be received at the MORSE-BAYLISS FUNERAL HOME, 122 Princeton Boulevard, the Highlands neighborhood of Lowell, on Sunday from 2 until 5 p.m. His Funeral Service will be held at the funeral home on Monday at 12:30 p.m. Interment is private. Friends who wish may make memorial donations in his name to the Aviation Museum of New Hampshire, 27 Navigator Rd., Londonderry, NH 03053. Funeral Director, Frederick W. Healy.
US Air Force
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