Donald L. Chaffee, 86, of Vanderbilt, passed away on March 5, 2021.
He was born the son of Clifford and Mary (Savage) Chaffee on December 26, 1934, in Harrison Michigan.
Don married Joan Weldon on October 1, 1955, in Harrison, MI, at the Assembly of God Church.
Don was a hard-working businessman and began his first job at the age of 11, working on Henry Ford’s 1600-acre farm. He worked several different jobs and in 1960, moved to Vanderbilt. He started his excavating and pumping business in 1966. He ran his family business for more than 50 years, and his legacy continues with the excavating business, now run by his son and the pumping service will continue when his grandson takes over in the spring. He was well known and respected by many locals. He served on the Vanderbilt school board, church boards, and the Otsego County Road Commission. One of Don’s and Joan’s greatest joys was working with their children and grandchildren and teaching them a strong work ethic.
Don loved his woods and knew the species of every tree in this area. Both he and Joan grew up going to church and made sure their children were always in church as well as the several others they picked up along the way. He was involved in several areas of the church including helping with many building projects.
He will be greatly missed by all who knew him.
Don is survived by his wife of 65 years, Joan; children, Randy, Nicholas (Sandra), and Lisa (Jeff); daughter-in-law, Carol; grandchildren, Ann, Mary, Matthew, Adam, Chloe, Luke, Becky, Zach, and Katie; five great-grandchildren; siblings, Alice Wilson of Harrison, MI, Paul (Harumi) of Sacramento, CA, and Elizabeth (Hugo) Noeske.
Don was preceded in death by his parents and son, Greg.
Funeral services will be held Wednesday, March 10, 2021, at noon at Vanderbilt Community Church. Visitation will take place Tuesday, March 9, 2021, from 4:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. at Vanderbilt Community Church, 455 W. Main St., Vanderbilt, MI 49795 and will continue on Wednesday (March 10) from 11:00 a.m. until the time of services.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Vanderbilt Community Church, 455 W. Main St., Vanderbilt, MI 49795.
Arrangements have been entrusted to Nelson Funeral Home and Cremation Service, PO Box 1548, Gaylord, MI 49734.