Donald L. Saporito (July 28, 1932 - August 14, 2023)

In loving memory of
Donald L. Saporito
  • July 28, 1932
  • -
  • August 14, 2023

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“There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens:
a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.”

Donald Louis Saporito passed away peacefully at his home in Leesburg, Florida on August 14, 2023. Don  was born on July 28, 1932 in Medford Massachusetts, the first born son of Italian immigrants who settled in Chicago and New England. Don spent his early childhood in Maine, before his mother moved to the Palm Beach area of Florida when Don was a young boy. He attended Palm Beach Junior College before relocating to Colorado to pursue his dream of architecture and engineering at the Colorado School of Mines. His academic pursuits were sidelined less than a full year into his education when he needed to work to earn next semester’s tuition, and it was during this sabbatical, on a double date that he met the love of his life, Anastasia – Asya – Popova, herself a direct immigrant from post World War II Europe. They met on Don’s 26th birthday in 1958 and were married just a little under three weeks later in a courthouse in Golden Colorado!

Determined and devoted to his new wife and family, Don earned his bachelor’s degree in Russian Literature, psychology and mathematics in 1966 from the University of Colorado. He went on to achieve his Masters degree in library science from the University of Denver in 1968. His first position was a Library Systems analyst for Argonne National Laboratories outside of Chicago, and then in 1968 he joined Dartmouth College as Director of Automation at Dartmouth’s Kiewit Computation Center, where was instrumental in launching Dartmouth College Library’s transition from card cataloging to automation services. In 1978 he joined the University of Southwestern Louisiana (now the University of Louisiana at Lafayette) as Dean of Libraries, where he remained until his retirement in 1994. Under his leadership, USL’s Dupre Library implemented an online integrated library automation system, acquired a CD-ROM network for the library, added a third floor to the library and initiated an extensive library expansion project. 

In his retirement years, Don and Asya traveled extensively to Europe to retrace Asya’s  painful childhood where she endured the horrors of Nazi occupied Yugoslavia and was interned in a forced labor camp in Blankenburg, in east Germany. Together, Don and Asya retraced her past, reconnected with ghosts long left unstirred, and began to assemble a memoir of her life. Asya died before the memoir would be complete, and Don worked tirelessly until he published Ancient Furies: A Young Girl’s Struggles in the Crossfire of World War II in 2014. 

Though he had a very successful career, it was not success or professional achievements that defined Don; quite the contrary. Don was a man of faith, dedicated to his wife, to his children, and to serving others.  He was a devoted Rotary Club member, earning a prestigious Paul Harris Fellowship that marked his selfless devotion to community service. Don was a humble man of unwavering devotion to his family, who gave and gave of himself selflessly — never with any hint of remorse or hesitation.  His love for Asya was absolute, enduring until he drew his last breath. He was a man of incredible character, inner strength, and unwavering integrity. He was a man who always put others before himself, who would never hesitate to help anyone who needed help. He believed deeply in the inherent goodness of every person, and lived his life as a reflection of that belief. He made an indelible mark on those who knew him.  He loudly loved all those he held dear; most of all his wife, children and grandchildren. To dad I say:  I found another GD rock! 

Don was preceded in death by his brother, Richard and his beloved wife. A celebration to honor Don will be held at St. Paul’s Catholic Church in Leesburg, Florida at 8:30 AM on Saturday, October 14. 


St. Paul's Catholic Church
1330 Sunshine Ave, Leesburg, FL 34748
Get Driving Directions

Date & Time:
October 14, 2023 at 12:00 AM

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