In Loving Memory of Donald Wallace Arthur
May 5, 1929 – November 29, 2017
Donald “Don” Wallace Arthur, 88, of Orlando, Florida died peacefully on November 29, 2017.
He was born in Utica, New York, son of the late Tilden & Geraldine (Hart) Arthur.
Don was a WWII Veteran, having proudly served in the U.S. Army. He was a Military Escort with Army Graves Registration. When the Army began sending the remains of those previously buried overseas back home to be buried on U.S. soil, Don had the solemn charge of escorting our fallen back to their families.
He first worked out of Schenectady, NY and when that location shut down, he worked out of Brooklyn Army Terminal. Traveling by train, he escorted the remains of the fallen soldiers home to their families and stayed as long as they requested. In those days, the wake was often held inside the family’s formal living room. He also performed funeral detail, including the folding & presenting of the flag
Don also served in the Army Reserves, Connecticut National Guard (142nd Medical Company – 1st Battalion, 208th Engineer Group – 1st Battalion, 102nd Infantry), and Florida National Guard (2nd Battalion, 124th Infantry – 705th Military Police Company). During his time in the military, he earned the rank of Staff Sergeant. He additionally served as the Honor Guard Commander for American Legion Post 19 in Orlando, Florida.
Don spent the majority of his life working in the drug & alcoholism field. He retired from the State of Connecticut after 20 years of service. He was the Director of the Compass Club in Hartford, the first state funded halfway house in the United States. The Compass Club began at the Yale Hope Mission in New Haven before relocating to Hartford.
He additionally worked for Thee Door of Central Florida, where he established an alcohol treatment program in the Orange County Jail, called the T.A.S.C. Program. (Treatment Alternatives to Street Crime). Don also worked as a Substance Abuse Counselor with Osceola Mental Health and Orlando Bridge.
Don was a former law enforcement officer with the Orange County Sheriff’s Office, having served as Courtroom Deputy for the 9th Judicial Court in the early 1980s.
He worked for the Central Florida Safety Council for 13 years as a DUI Instructor, Driver Improvement Program Director, and DUI Program Director.
After retirement, Don worked for Seniors First with the Meals on Wheels Program as both a Route Driver, and later, Site Supervisor. As a driver, he did more than just deliver meals. With his caring and compassionate nature, he always went above and beyond to help the client with anything they needed.
He later worked as a Licensed Security Officer, and was a Certified Security Officer School Instructor.
Don’s accounting background from business school enabled him to restore financial stability when he served as Board President of his condo association.
He enjoyed singing Karaoke, and ballroom dancing. He loved everything about cars…especially classic cars. Home improvement projects were another hobby of his.
Don was known for his gift of humor, and his generosity. His greatest joy was giving to others…especially at Christmas time. He loved donating bicycles to children in need, and many people remember him for that.
As far as helping others, you couldn’t find anyone with a bigger heart than Don. It didn’t matter what time of day or night, he would drop everything to help someone in need. Even if he didn’t know you, he would give you the shirt off his back.
He greatest wish was for everyone he loved to be happy.
Don is survived by his former spouse, June Arthur, his four children Susan (Rich) Parillo, Donna (Gene) Thompson, Linda St. John, and Kim Arthur, his five grandchildren Shawna Salato, Danielle Parillo, Kristine (Stephan) Hartmann, Rob Marino, and Michael Marino, his great granddaughter, Eleanor Hartmann, his brothers, Robert (Patricia) Arthur, and James (Lori) Arthur, many nieces and nephews, and his loving friend, Barbara Humphries. He was preceded in death by his sisters Connie Ferrara, and Jean Gagliardi.
A Funeral Mass will be held in the Chapel at St. Margaret Mary Catholic Church in Winter Park, Florida on Wednesday, December 13th at 11:00am.
Burial with Military Honors will take place at Cape Canaveral National Cemetery on Wednesday, December 13th at 2:45pm.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Smile Train (SmileTrain.org), or Project Recycle (ProjectRecycle.org), which refurbishes bicycles for children in need.
Don wanted a party when he passed, so a Celebration of Life will be held on Saturday, December 16th at the College Park Neighborhood Center from 1pm – 3pm. The Center is located at 2393 Elizabeth Avenue, Orlando, Florida 32804, behind Princeton Elementary School.
Put on your festive attire, and join us to enjoy food, fun, music, laughter, and share special memories.
Don found his joy in helping others. In his memory, you are invited to bring a toy to donate to a family in need this holiday season.