Donald ‘Don’ J. Chamberland (1938—2018)
VIRGINIA BEACH, Virginia — Donald ‘Don’ J. Chamberland passed away peacefully at home on Saturday, January 13, 2018. He is survived by his wife of 50 years, Joan (Michaud) Chamberland; his daughter, Lara (Chamberland) Simmon and his son-in-law, David Simmon of Bellefonte, Pennsylvania; his son, Paul Chamberland and his daughter-in-law, Jan Merritt of Pocomoke City, Maryland; his grandchildren, Daniel Simmon, Leah Simmon, Anna Simmon, Emma Simmon, Paul Chamberland, and Joshua Chamberland; his sisters, Penelope LaVoice of Bangor, Maine; Marie Cyr of Bristol, Connecticut; and Marlene Nelson and brother-in-law, Gary Nelson of Herscher, Illinois. He was preceded in death by his parents, his brother, Joseph, and sisters, Candace Derosier, Claire LaChance, and Theodora “Ted” Albert.
He was born on August 18, 1938, child of Paul and Anna (Michaud) Chamberland, in Aroostook County, Maine, in the township of Sinclair. Don enlisted in the United States Air Force upon high school graduation in 1956, and, as a teletype operator, served in Saudi Arabia, New Hampshire, Canada, Virginia, Texas, Turkey, and the Pentagon. In 1964, he was offered the opportunity to become an officer through the Air Force Institute of Technology program and earned a bachelor’s degree in Industrial Engineering and a master’s degree in Management Engineering at Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona. After graduation, he returned to Aroostook County, swept Joan off her feet, then settled into married life at Hickam AFB, Hawaii, where daughter, Lara, and son, Paul, were born. In 1971, Don brought the family back to the mainland and served at the Pentagon, Bolling AFB, and Andrews AFB, all in the Air Force District of Washington.
He retired from the Air Force in 1978, and transitioned into the civilian sector as an industrial management consultant for Presearch, Inc. He opened a Presearch branch in 1980 in the Tidewater area with offices first in Norfolk then in Chesapeake with an emphasis on working Army and Navy staffing issues. Looking for a different challenge, Don delved into real estate, becoming a broker with GSH Realty, then branching off with Joan to establish Colonial Homes Realty, which he continued until his retirement from real estate in 2003. He enjoyed managing his properties, retreating to his cabin outside Charlottesville, and maintaining his vegetable gardens. He will be greatly missed by his family.