Donald O. Chatman, Jr.
September 1, 1948 - November 23, 2020

 

On November 23, 2020, Donald (Don) Chatman Jr. passed away peacefully at age 72 at Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, Florida, after a courageous battle with Pancreatic Cancer. Donald was born in Peoria, Illinois to the late Donald Sr. and Vivian (Chioni) Chatman.  He was predeceased by his sister Schalene Chatman. Donald is survived by his Beloved Companion, Henriette Lagasse of Florida.  Loving father of three daughters Heather Chatman of Bangor, Maine, Kimberly Chatman of Chelsea, Maine and Shelly and Ed Gerrish of North Port, Florida.  Grandfather of four Hailey Taker, and Samantha Thornton of Chelsea, Maine. Danielle and Teresa Gerrish of North Port, Florida. His Aunt Phyllis Chioni, ex-wife Joyce Day of Limestone, Maine and estranged wife Catherine Chatman and her daughter Sandra Martin of Caribou, Maine.  As well as extended family members and many friends. Donald is a Veteran of the Vietnam War and Desert Storm, where he earned several medals including Bronze Star Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Army Commendation Medal and Army Achievement Medal.  He served in the United States Air Force from 1967 to 1972, Army from 1972 to 1995 and he retired from Army Reserve in 2004 as MAJ/04 Major Field Officer. Don retired from Civil Service at DFAS (Defense Finance and Accounting Services) in Limestone, Maine as an Accounting Technician, where he served also as a Union Representative for 15 years. Don volunteered 3,174 hours at the VA Medical Center in West Palm Beach, Florida and 4,000 plus hours at Maine Veterans’ Home in Caribou, Maine.   He was a life member and Past Commander of the Henry B Pratt Jr. American Legion Post #15 for 22 years and Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Post #9389 for 29 years.   He was a member of Phi Delta Kappa (PDK) for 5 years and was involved in Pediatric Oncology Support Team (POST).    A member of the Loyal Order of Moose, American Veterans (AMVETS) and Fraternal Order of Eagles. Don enjoyed golfing, fishing, traveling and anything that involved being with people.  Hailey and Samantha treasured every moment and memory they made with their “Tall Grampy” and will miss him so much.   They loved their trips to the beaches,  baking and cooking with him, playing cribbage and dominoes (especially when they beat him), going fishing and hearing the stories of his childhood. ”Tall Grampy” you will be missed and forever in our hearts   –  WE LOVE YOU! A Memorial Service honoring his military career will be held at South Florida VA National Cemetery at a later date.  Those wishing to remember Donald in a special way please make donation to St. Jude Children’s Hospital or POST at www.postfl.org or call Barbara Abernathy, POST CEO at 561-882-6336. Condolences to the family may be expressed at Coastal Cremations and Funeral Care in Zephyrhills,  Florida @ www.coastalcremationsfl.com


10 Comments

  • Shelley O’Rourke Posted December 1, 2020 3:11 pm

    My heart is broken. Don you were my best friend. You will never be forgotten. We love you. God Speed. Love, Shelley and Hamp

  • Barbara Aquino Posted December 2, 2020 9:43 pm

    My deceased husband Jim and I were blessed to have known Don and Henriette and enjoyed good times together in S Fl and I’m sure Don and Jim are enjoying each other once again in heaven. Miss them both down here.

  • Mike and Judy Haskins Posted December 3, 2020 6:34 am

    We are both shocked and saddened by the passing of Don. He was and will always be a bright light to us he was the funniest, kindest, full of laughter person who was loved and appreciated for just being himself and enjoying everything, everyone and living a good life.
    Our condolences to his family and many friends. He was a wonderful human being and we lost a good friend who will live deep in our hearts from working with him at DFAS Limestone to seeing him at McDill AFB on the beach. RIP Don.

  • RAY LOCH Posted December 3, 2020 11:43 am

    I was lucky enough to being able to work/volunteer alongside Don at the West Palm Beach VA Hospital for a number of years. He was truly a “Guys Guy”.
    He helped/advised me when my cancer diagnosis was received ! I know that I will again meet him in Heaven and we will go to Buongiorno’s Pizza & Pasta and once again enjoy their fine Pizza’s. Old Soldiers Never Die, They Simply fade away!! R I P , Don

  • Connie McCormick Posted December 3, 2020 1:02 pm

    So hard to believe he’s gone. My deepest sympathy for the family. He was a wonderful friend! Our camping group will not be the same without him! Rest In Peace our dear friend. You will be so very missed!

  • Colette St-Onge Lebrun Posted December 3, 2020 3:25 pm

    Sorry for your lost my dear friend! I never met your husband but I’m sure he was a good person! Prend courage ma belle amie!

  • Bill and Rachel Gallagher Posted December 3, 2020 3:57 pm

    Was very fortunate to have Don as my Officer in Charge of our S-4 Section, and truly enjoyed working with him. The times in Ft McCoy and other places truly showed what a leader should be, and I appreciated your candor and your great stories. So sorry to see you go old friend. Rach and I wished now that we had more time to visit when we were in Florida last March, but the wedding and the Pandemic shortened everything, and we were unable to stop by. Rest in Peace, and save me a place next to the campfire so I can hear so more of your stories when it is my time. Our Prayers to your entire family Don – You will surely be missed.

  • Nader Boutros Posted December 4, 2020 1:47 pm

    We are sorry for your loss. We will not forget Don as an amazing friend and neighbor. We will miss him. God with you Henriette, we will pray for you.

  • Roberto Lanzziano Posted December 6, 2020 8:36 pm

    I have been very sadden by the departure of my great friend Don. I met Don as he help me as a volunteer at the West Palm beach VA and I soon realized what an amazing human being he was. We became close friends and shared many great times together. A great warrior, very proud serviceman and veteran, always enjoying life by helping others and enjoying the simple moments. I will miss you buddy, rest in peace and for sure we will met again.

  • Don Tardie Posted December 7, 2020 7:50 pm

    Don was very special to his friends and Veterans. He lived life to the fullest as many of us can attest. We all have special memories of Don that we will forever keep. Don made a difference to those in need because he chose to. A true warrior in war and peace. May God bless.


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