Donald Charlwood Paine

Obituary
  • "Cele&I extend our deepest sympathies to Donald's..."
    - David Krinjak
  • "With deepest sympathy during your time of mourning."
    - Holmes Funeral Home - Manchester

Donald Charlwood Paine, of Manchester, died at Hartford Hospital Wednesday, Aug. 8, 2018, at the age of 95.

Born in Hartford, the son of Walter and Amy (Baker) Paine, Don grew up in West Hartford, where he was a graduate of Hall High School, class of 1940. He matriculated at Trinity College, majoring in physics and math, and subsequently was enrolled in the Navy Reserve's V-12 program before entering Columbia University's midshipman engineering program and the Diesel School of Cornell University. Don served in the South Pacific as a lieutenant (j.g.) in the United States Navy during World War II, where he was initially Engineering Officer of LSM-243, and later the ship's Commanding Officer. After completing his military service, he supplemented his Bachelor of Science degree from Trinity with a mechanical engineering degree from the Sheffield School of Engineering at Yale University in 1948.

He met his wife, Ruth Powell, during the war while he was training at the Navy Amphibious Base in Little Creek, Virginia, where Ruth was working at the Navy Department. Don and Ruth were married in 1948 and they soon moved to Manchester, where they lived for the rest of their lives and raised three children together. In later years they attended many LSM Navy reunions, which gave them the opportunity to explore much of the country. Ruth passed away in 2005 after 57 years of happiness.

Don worked for nearly 40 years as a mechanical engineer at United Technologies Research Center in East Hartford, retiring in 1985. He received two patents for energy reduction as well as a citation from UTC. His passion for tinkering extended well beyond the workplace. Visitors to his home through the years often remarked on the various gadgets he fashioned to solve household "problems." Don also used his expertise to help others, volunteering with the Science Center of Connecticut from 1997 to 2003. Don always dreamed about the day when electric cars would be in common use. In the late 1960s, decades before hybrid and electric cars hit the market, he took matters into his own hands - removing the engine of a Fiat and loading it with batteries.

Even to those who did not know Don personally, he was often recognized in later years as the man driving around Manchester in a wedge-shaped orange electric "Citicar," wearing his signature beret. For years he visited local schools, showing children his electric car and explaining how it worked. He was always eager to share his passion for science with young people.

Don is survived by two daughters, Susan and her husband, John Krinjak Sr., of Manchester, and Margaret and her husband, Joseph Marino, of New Britain; a son, Donald Jr. of Washington, D.C.; two grandsons, John Krinjak Jr. of Providence, Rhode Island and David Krinjak of Encinitas, California. He also leaves his special friend of many years, Geri Lemelin. Besides his wife, Don was predeceased by his brother, Dwight Paine; and sister, Elizabeth Comerford. He is also survived by several nephews, nieces, and cousins.

Calling hours will be held Monday, Aug. 13, from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Holmes-Watkins Funeral Home, 400 Main St., Manchester.

There will be a funeral service at 11 a.m. Tuesday, Aug. 14, at the South United Methodist Church, 1226 Main St., Manchester, with the Rev. John Marshall officiating. Burial will be in the Fairview Cemetery in West Hartford.

To leave a message of condolence, please visit

www.holmeswatkins.com



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Holmes-Watkins Funeral Home
400 Main Street
Manchester, CT 06040
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Published in Journal Inquirer from Aug. 11 to Aug. 15, 2018
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