South Hadley- Donald J. Upton, 87 passed away July 29, 2023 after a short illness. Born in Waltham on August 6, 1935, he was the son of Harold and Helen (Allen) Upton. He was raised in Malden and remained there until the late 1970’s. He’s lived in South Hadley for the past 40 years. He proudly served his country in US Army Airborne, as a paratrooper from 1955-1958. During his service he got much of his training as a chef, later with a specialty as a saucier. He worked as a chef at the Hotel Kenmore in Boston for several years, then as the Director of Food Services for Northeastern University. From there he worked as the head chef at Anthony’s Restaurant in Malden. Donald loved to cook for his family and friends, that being his favorite past time. Other past times included dining out, reading (war history especially, & dog training). For years he owned his own horse and was involved in the horse community both in training and shows. Besides cooking, his major past time was playing pool. He had been playing from the age of 12 and won many championship trophies. Donald appreciated reading for education, fishing with his grandson and friends, and spent many hours “up the trail,” (Mohawk Trail) with family and friends. Listening to Nat King Cole, Kenny Rogers, and Willie Nelson was a favorite thing of his too. Although many activities made Don happy, visiting his daughter Cheryl and her family on holidays to compliment her table and guide her in her meal preparation, was one of the highlights of his life. He also loved spending days with his beloved brother John, and taking visits to Virginia to see his eldest sister and her family. Lounging on the couch on Sundays watching Westerns were also very much enjoyed by Donald. Don had a very happy demeanor and a positive attitude about life. He loved to laugh a lot and tell endless stories to his family and friends. Being around others was what brought Don the most joy!
Donald was married to former wife, Pauline (Papouleas) Moore for 6 years, then enjoyed the company of his partner Bunny Calkins for nearly 35 years. For the past several years, Donald’s constant companion was Rosie. Donald is survived by his children, Cheryl Upton Fitzpatrick of Smithfield, RI, son-in-law, Stephen Fitzpatrick, Sr. and daughter, Dawn Marie Upton. He also leaves an older sister Linda Goodale of Virginia, along with many nieces and nephews. He has three grandchildren whom he adored and spent an abundant amount of time with over the past 10 years in particular, Ashley, Nicolle, and Stephen Fitzpatrick. Donald was predeceased by his siblings Allen, John, and Caroline. Please join us at Beers & Story South Hadley Funeral Home on August 4, 2023 at 10 am to form a procession to Mass Veterans’ Memorial Cemetery, 1390 Main St., Agawam, MA for a 11 am committal service. If you wish, you can just meet the procession at the cemetery.