Donal (Don) March, age 90 of Palm Coast, passed peacefully with his family at his side on October 26, 2022, at the Advent Hospice in Palm Coast after a brief illness and hospitalization.
Donal was born on October 11, 1932, in Buckland, Massachusetts, son of Frederick and Florence (Martin) March.
Don enlisted in the United States Marine Corps in 1950 and, following Boot Camp at Parris Island, completed advanced training at Camp Lejeune. He served with honor as an amphibious tank driver in Korea, rising quickly through the ranks to earn a field promotion to Sergeant and command a unit stationed at the 38th Parallel, as well as guarding Kimpo Air Base in South Korea. In 2016 he was invited to fly to Washington, DC, as part of the Honor Flight program serving veterans. More recently, he was presented with a medal and commendation from the Government of South Korea for his service there.
He met his wife, Constance (MacIntyre) in November 1952, while home on leave; it was love at first sight, and they were married on April 11, 1953, at St. Mary’s Church in Turners Falls, Massachusetts. Don and Connie happily celebrated their 69th wedding anniversary in April 2022 and were looking forward to planning their 70th in 2023.
After his honorable discharge in 1953, Don and his wife operated a farm in Ashfield, Massachusetts, for several years. In his early years he became interested in raising chickens and was a member of the Future Farmers of America while in high school at Arms Academy. This interest continued through his 20’s where his birds won many local and regional awards. On one occasion, his bantam trio won Best of Show at the Eastern States Exposition in Springfield, Massachusetts.
After selling the farm to pursue other careers, Don worked as a construction laborer, helping to build roads and bridges in many locations in Massachusetts. He dabbled in carpentry around the farm, then pursued that profession, becoming known as one of the premier custom home builders in the area.
History and science were his educational passions, and he took many related courses, earning a degree at Greenfield Community College in 1981. The History Channel and NOVA were his favorite channels to watch, as well as any animal programs.
Don was a long-time community volunteer. In his hometown he was an active member of Kiwanis (and the club’s chorus), the Rod & Gun Club, the Fraternal Order of Eagles #2758, and the Shelburne Falls VFW. Don was a volunteer on the Shelburne Bicentennial Committee in 1968 helping to organize multiple events and was Co-Chair of the Bicentennial Ball. He served as a member of the Buckland Zoning Board.
After he and Connie moved to Palm Coast they immediately volunteered with several organizations. Don was an early member of the newly formed Marine Corps League Detachment #876 and became a life member. He served as Chair of the annual 225th USMC Birthday Ball, as well as serving as the League Chaplain for several years. For over 25 years he visited the Emory Bennett Veteran’s Home in Daytona monthly with fellow Marines to provide a party for residents, being famously known as “The Egg Man” for his delicious deviled eggs (by the hundreds) that were a favorite of residents. He was involved in many parades, honor guards, active in the Toys for Tots program, and a volunteer driver for the Disabled Veterans, bringing other veterans for medical treatment in Gainesville. He received several Certificates of Appreciation and Challenge Coins for his volunteer service.
Don was also a member of the Palm Coast VFW, Past President of an early New England Club, and Distinguished Member of the Garden Club of Palm Coast, being instrumental in community landscaping and gardening projects.
Don will be remembered by everyone as very easy-going, a music lover who was always whistling, humming, or singing, and loved to tell jokes. Even during his hospital stay and illness, he was making people laugh and was popular with his care givers.
In his younger years, Don hunted and was an avid fisherman. Gardening and caring for the animals and birds in his National Wildlife Federation Certified Habitat yard were a joy to him. He had a deep love for nature and a special bond with his pets and other animals.
He travelled extensively, especially enjoying historical sites. He was an avid card player, particularly cribbage, and a dedicated fan of the New England Patriots. Even until recently, he always enjoyed exercising, biking, jogging (in his earlier years), and lifting weights.
Don was preceded in death by his parents, his brother (James), his sister (Irene), and his beloved son (Eric).
Don is survived by his loving wife, Constance, his daughter Donna Francis (and husband Raymond), granddaughter Jessica Sachon (all of Palm Coast), grandson Michael (and wife Vanessa) of Woodbridge, Virginia, his nephew, Brian March, who resided with them in Palm Coast, Rebecca March Craig of Greenfield, Massachusetts, and many other nieces and nephews on both sides of the family. The family wishes to acknowledge a long-time and very dear friend who has been family to us, Ellen Werner.
The family is deeply grateful to Donal’s medical caregivers at Advent Hospital Flagler for their compassionate and loving care during his time there, particularly his day and night shift nurses and their technicians.
A Celebration of Life is being planned by the family at the Palm Coast VFW Post on Old Kings Road on Sunday, November 20. The family will receive guests beginning at 1 p.m. with the service at 1:30. A light repast luncheon will follow.
Final arrangements are with Baldwin Brothers of Ormond Beach. Please visit their website at https://baldwincremation.com/obituaries/donal-march/ for further information and memorial donation requests.
At Donal’s request, in lieu of flowers, please make memorial contributions in his honor to the Marine Corps League Detachment #876, c/o Adjutant Ellen Werner, PO Box 353666, Palm Coast, FL 32135-3666, or to the animal rescue and assistance organization of your choice.
Any flowers that are delivered, please deliver them directly to the Palm Coast VFW Post for the service November 20.
47 N Old Kings Rd, Palm Coast, FL 32137
1:00 PM - 1:30 PM
47 N Old Kings Rd, Palm Coast, FL 32137