Don Alex Diachenko, 61, of Concord, son of the late Mitchell and Julia (Sparrow) Diachenko, died surrounded by family and his faithful companion and "trusted steed", Tucson, on St. Patrick's Day, after a long and courageous battle with cancer. Don was named after the USS Alex Diachenko, a World War II naval ship. Throughout his illness, Don fought, endured, persevered and remained upbeat and determined not to allow this tragic disease get the best of him.
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Don attended school at and played football for Concord High. After graduation, he worked for Seaward Construction, the City of Concord, and thereafter spent 34 years at New Hampshire Distributors. Don also started a landscaping business, D & J Landscaping, in the 1980s and operated it until his cancer became debilitating - turning over ownership to his son and daughter in-law.
Don is survived by his wife and best friend, Kelly Smith, his son and daughter in-law, Daniel A. and Jennifer Diachenko, step-children, Benjamin Canfield of Webster and Kari Canfield (and fiance Harry Anderson, III) of Embden, Maine, sister, Pam E. Rowe and former brother in-law Robert "Greek" Rowe of Northeast, Maryland, mother and father-in-law, Erwin and Janice Smith and brother-in-law, Bret A. Smith (Suzanne) all of Webster, nephews, Lance Rowe (Jennifer) and their children, Collin Rowe, and Kayleigh, Cody Smith, Joshua Smith, and niece Kristina Schrayer, and several cousins. Don is also survived by his pride and joy - the "grandboys", Aiden J. Diachenko and Jax A. Diachenko of Concord, and Bryce J. Anderson of Embden, Maine, his long-time friends, Bob Mahoney, Gene and Becky Davenport, Chuck Dore and Sandy Wescott, John Clattenburg, Fred Sprague, Steve Robie, Jim and Pam Allen, Dave and Lynn Anniccharico, Pat and Deb LaFave, as well as numerous other friends and his co-workers at New Hampshire Distributors. He will be missed by many.
Don enjoyed fishing, camping, football, NASCAR racing, listening to Jimmy Buffett and spending time with friends and family on the patio, in the pool, at the beach, or in a local bar. He especially enjoyed traveling with his wife twice annually to the Caribbean, Mexico and Florida. Beneath Don's gruff exterior, he had a heart of gold. He was witty and fun - ever the clown. He was stubborn, which kept him alive when the odds were against him.
At his request, Don will have a burial at sea, where he loved to spend time.A celebration of his life will be held in the function room at Makris Lobster & Steak House on Friday, April 5 from 6 to 9 p.m., where friends and family can gather to share stories of their happy times with Don.
Special thanks is given from Don's family to Dr. Michelle Spencer and staff, Dr. David F. Green and staff at the Center for Urologic Care, Dr. Frederick Briccetti and staff and Dr. Thomas Sheldon and staff at the Payson Cancer Center, and the nurses and staff at Concord Regional Visiting Nurses Association/Hospice Services, all of whom did everything that they could medically for Don throughout his illness and during his last moments of life.
Special thanks is also given to the management, staff and employees of N.H. Distributors for all of their support.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made in Don's memory for prostate cancer research at the Concord Hospital Center for Urologic Care, Payson Cancer Center or to the CRVNA/Hospice Services.
Published in The Concord Monitor from Mar. 20 to Mar. 21, 2013