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In loving memory of
Donald B. Safford
  • November 20, 1938
  • -
  • May 27, 2022

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Obituary

Lieutenant Colonel Donald B. Safford, United States Regular Army (Retired)
beloved husband of Joan Burd Safford, died on May 27, 2022. He succumbed to
the long term effects of Agent Orange exposure while serving in Viet Nam.
Don, born on November 20, 1938, was the son of the late Whitney D. and Janis
(Bailey) Safford. He was a product of the Burlington, Vermont school system,
graduating from Edmunds (Burlington) High School in1956. During those years he
earned his Eagle Scout rank in Larry Dean’s Troop one, co-captained the ski team,
and was Boy Scout Mayor For a Day.
Donald married the former Annette Normandeau in Burlington in 1958. They
raised 3 sons, (Paul, Douglas, and Charles) and 2 daughters (Claire Tuite and
Norma Manning), all of whom have survived him.
Don earned his BS in 1960 and Master’s Degree in 1974 (Political Science), both
from the University of Vermont (UVM). He served over twenty years on active
duty including two years combat duty in Vietnam where he participated in eight
campaigns including the TET Offensive in 1968 and the Easter Offensive in 1972.
His military awards included the Combat Infantryman’s Badge, Airborne Wings,
Ranger Tab, three Bronze Stars, Five Air medals, three Army Commendation
medals and the Meritorious Service medal. He was an Honor Graduate from the
Command and General Staff College.
After retirement from the service, Donald returned to Vermont and, in 1985,
became the Director of Physical Plant at Champlain College until 2000. He had
the privilege of overseeing the renovation of nineteen historic Hill Section
buildings, former homes which he used to deliver newspapers to when he was a
boy.
Following his 2nd retirement he divided his time between South Hero, Vermont
and Vero Beach, Florida. Following his divorce In 2012 he married the former
Joan R. Burd. They were based in central Florida and traveled until Don’s health
prevented it. Don’s final move was to Indian River Colony Club in Viera, Florida in
a home and community that he loved. He was unconditionally loved and missed.
There will be no public services and internment will be private.


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  1. Sue and Curt says:
    07 Jun 2022
    Curt and I have many fond memories with Don/Dad over the years. My favorite memory will always be seeing the love they had for one another. I am forever grateful they found each other and for the gift of love and happiness he gave to my mom, Joan. I truly do not recall her ever being as happy as she was with Don. Thank you, you will not be forgotten.

  2. Liz Flesher says:
    07 Jun 2022
    I can truly say how sorry I am Donald is gone. I did not have the opportunity to know you as much as I would have liked. However, every time I drive by your house I do tink of you both. I uderstand how it is to lose the love of your life. I lost Sanford in 2021. I saw the love you both shared and hope in time you too can heal from tis loss. May Donald be at peace knowing how very loved he was by you, Joan.

  3. Ernie and Judy Finch says:
    03 Jun 2022
    Ern and I were so saddened to hear of Don's passing. We became friends when we shared health issues, but remained friends because we connected in many ways. We shared RV stories, stayed connected with our health issues and how we dealt with each one. Don faced his challenges head on and showed his strength as he conquered each one. Joan was his anchor and found so many ways to make his life easier. You will be missed but our lives have been enriched by knowing you and being our friend. Rest in Peace and be the guiding light for your familyas they move forward without your presence. Our deepest Sympathy to all the family.

  4. Joan posted an image:
    02 Jun 2022
    Indian River Colony Club provides a final tribute to Donald B. Safford, LT COL USA RET
    Indian River Colony Club provides a final tribute to Donald B. Safford, LT COL USA RET

  5. Dick & Linda Hildebrand says:
    02 Jun 2022
    Don was a wonderful friend and we are so lucky that we got to know both Don & Joan. Our hearts are grieving on his passing. Rest in peace, Don.

  6. Joan says:
    02 Jun 2022
    With great sorrow I return to God the gift of you that He gave me. I thank Fr. Martin for being our spiritual guide and strength. He was with us at the beginning of our spiritual journey together and at the end when he gave you the last sacrament. He stood beside me as I held your hand while you breathed your last breath. TPT my best friend, companion, and love of my life.

  7. Norma Goff says:
    01 Jun 2022
    I am saddened and so sorry to learn of Don’s passing. My heart goes out to all of you! I have fond memories of early years as kids when the cousins got together, and of his return to Essex and tour of the ancestor’s home. Sending prayers and love to all the Safford family.

  8. Doug Safford says:
    31 May 2022
    I will aways remember with love the time we spent and cherish all you showed and taught me. WE shared a bond or Eagle Scout and passion for life. I cannot possibly express my gratitude for the gift you bestowed upon me twice. Life at birth and life again at age 3.

    Rest well Dad. may your time with God be peaceful and you sole be at rest.

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