Donald Strong Chatfield, Jr. 69 of Nobleboro, passed away on the morning of January 17th at The Gosnell Memorial Hospice House, following extensive surgery for ulcers and blood clots. Don was born on October 14, 1952 in Paterson, NJ, the youngest of three children to Donald and Dorothy Chatfield.
Always interested in engines and cars, and with his deep admiration for his father and his father’s work as a nuclear engineer, Don attended Worcester Polytechnic Institute’s (WPI) engineering program. After he left WPI, he followed his other passion for food, and for making meals that people would enjoy. He worked as a banquet chef at Château de Ville in Framingham, MA where he served banquets for hundreds of people, and then for a time at the Holiday Inn in Boston. Returning to Midcoast Maine, he was a chef at The Cheechako Restaurant on Lewis Point among other restaurants. Over his lifetime, he prepared food events and delicious meals for his friends.
Don returned to his love of cars and worked at Strong Chevrolet, where he developed a strong following because of his skill in solving problems when the ‘engine’ light came on and resolving complex automotive electrical problems. His interest in engines then expanded to the aeronautical engineering technician program at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach, FL. After graduation, he taught at the University before returning to Midcoast Maine.
He ran his own business as the Car Doc until 2012, while also working at Quality Muffler until 2010. His automotive fans were glad that Don was back and would diagnose and resolve most auto issues. He retired in 2012 when he gave up driving, but he continued offering auto advice.
Don will be remembered by many for his help resolving their automotive problems, and by his friends as a smart, well-read person who loved cooking, had strong opinions, could be cantankerous and did things his way, but was generous and shared many jokes, especially Far Side cartoons. He read his automotive magazines and The New Yorker cover-to-cover, enjoyed feeding the birds, watching the wildlife around his home, listening to National Public Radio, and watching college football on TV. Over the last five years, he looked forward to weekly rides from the FISH volunteers, who became friends; and with whom he shared lots of laughter, jokes, and meaningful conversations.
He is survived by two sisters, Judith Nevius of Danvers, Massachusetts, and Marian Chatfield of Mount Pleasant, South Carolina; two nieces; a nephew; great-nephew; and a great-niece. Don was grateful for the help from his friend, Mary Sheldon, over the last decade and a half and for her persistent kindness and intelligence.
A private graveside service will be held in the Harrington Cemetery in the spring. Memorial gifts may be sent to: Lincoln County FISH (Friends in Service Helping), ℅ St. Andrew’s Church, PO Box 234, Newcastle, ME 04553 with “LC FISH” in the memo line.
Arrangements are under the direction and care of the Strong-Hancock Funeral Home, 612 Main Street, Damariscotta, ME 04543. Condolences, and messages for his family, may be expressed by visiting: www.StrongHancock.com.
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