Deceased June 17, 2019
Don passed away June 17 at home in Harpswell, Maine. His wife, Peg; his two sons; their wives; and all four grandchildren were with him the day before, Father’s Day, talking, singing and holding his hand.
Strong and healthy all his life until afflicted with mental issues six years ago, he continued to be active until a very recent decline.
Don attended schools in New Haven before Amherst. During junior year, a course in mineralogy and a summer job arranged by Professor Brophy ignited his love for geology and determined his life’s direction. His first job for a copper mining company was interrupted by two years in the U.S. Army. After that military obligation, he earned a Ph.D. in geology from Harvard, followed later that same year (1965) by marriage to Marguerite “Peg” Bottai. Next, mineral exploration, first in Virginia and later Val-d’Or, Quebec, Canada. A teaching opportunity arose in the geology department at Colgate University and was snapped up in 1969. Denied tenure seven years later, Don moved on to Maine and taught geology at Bates and Bowdoin, mapped for the state, wrote and published. In 1992 eager to get back into the field again, Don founded his own company, performing hydrogeological assessments, subdivision planning and other property use designs.
Don loved camping, the out-of-doors and meeting people and hearing their stories. He was fiercely loving and loyal to family and friends—highly principled, a bit of a perfectionist, responsible and conscientious. He was honest to the core; there were no pretenses around Don. He loved problem solving, being a volunteer firefighter, projects around the house, dogs and cats, ice cream and beer. For many years he enjoyed an annual 150-mile bike ride, fundraising for MS.
Farewell, Don, you have done your family, friends and Amherst ’56 proud.
Peter Levison ’56