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Donald Elwell

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Donald B. Elwell

1929-2010 BENNINGTON Donald "Don" Bruce Elwell, 80, longtime resident of Suffern, beloved husband, father, grandfather and brother, passed away at home from complications of ALS on Sunday, Mar. 7, 2010.

Born Dec. 17, 1929, to Corwin and Flavilla Elwell, in Bennington, Vt., where he spent his childhood and graduated from high school, he attended Asbury College before transferring to Middlebury College where he graduated in 1952.

Don served his county in the Army in the Korean War from 1952-1954. Following his military service he attended Harvard University for his A.M.T. in 1955. He received his Ed.D. in 1967 from Columbia University Teachers College. Don's professional career and one of his many passions was education.

He taught at A.B. Davis High School in Mt. Vernon, N.Y., from 1955-1960, Columbia University Teachers College from 1960-1961, and Spring Valley High School from 1961-1997, where he was the Social Studies Department Chair for 30 years and an advocate of the Advanced Placement Program. He was a member of the local chapter of the Korean War Veterans and also a Veteran for Peace.

He participated in weekly peace vigils with the Rockland Coalition for Peace and Justice, standing on the corner in Nanuet each Saturday wearing his Korean War Veteran's cap as long as his illness allowed.

Don was a friend and mentor to so many. He was a devoted, active member of the Suffern United Methodist Church for more than 35 years. He never lost his positive outlook on life and even when the chips were down, he had a kind word, a friendly smile and twinkle in his eye. He was warm, generous, and compassionate.

Don is survived by his loving family including his wife, Kathy; brothers, Corky and Richard; sister, Lila; daughters, Jennifer Uscilka, Meredith Hazlett, and Chelsea Elwell; and Melanie Smith and John Petry; and seven grandchildren. He was a special friend to each one of his grandchildren.

Don was predeceased by his parents; his first wife, Carol, and their infant daughter, Stephanie, and son, Bruce; and his sister, Nancy Bahan.

MEMORIAL NOTICE: His memorial service will be held at Suffern United Methodist Church at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Mar. 13, located at 18 Parkside Drive in Suffern. A graveside ceremony will be held Bennington at a later date.

At Don's request, in lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Suffern United Methodist Church or United Hospice of Rockland or by donating time to a favorite worthy cause.

Published in Bennington Banner on Mar. 11, 2010
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