Donald “Don” Charles Dlugatch passed away Sunday afternoon, May 1st, 2022, after a short illness.
Don was born October 11, 1933 in NYC to Lena & David Dlugatch, the first of two children. His sister Marcia Dlugatch Zalsky was born November 7th, 1936 and predeceased him on September 4th, 2016.
He graduated from the Woodridge High School in 1952 and entered into the Air Force, serving for 8 years during the Korean War. His time in the war would heavily influence the way he saw the world for the rest of his life. In 1961, Don met his wife, Violet “Sally” Burger of 60 years. They married February 24, 1962. Don worked as a heavy equipment operator for the Town of Fallsburg for 20 years, retiring in 1992. Don was a lifetime area resident.
Don is predeceased by his parents, Lena & David Dlugatch, sister, Marcia Dlugatch Zalsky, son, John David Dlugatch & son-in-law Robert A. Helms. He is survived by his wife Sally, of South Fallsburg, daughter Diane Helms of Tupper Lake, Granddaughter Amanda Helms Ybanez & her husband Joseph, of Carthage, grandson, Robert “Bobby” D. Helms of Canton, Great Granddaughter, Isla R. Ybanez & Foreign Exchange Grandson, Marek Sedlák, of Bratislava, Slovakia, sister in law, Janet Burger Moss of Monticello and several nieces and nephews.
Don was charismatic and charming. He was a risk taker with a devil may care attitude about life. He lived life by his own terms and no one was going to tell him otherwise. He was the type of old school John Wayne “man’s man,” that you don’t see anymore.
He wasn’t warm and fuzzy; he was tough, competitive, funny and playful. He came from a tougher time and didn’t have patience for laziness and fools, but he loved to play. He had a quick wit and a charming twinkle in his eye that made you want to laugh and smack him at the same time. He never said I love you, but you always knew you were loved. He was strong and capable. He was the type of man you think will live forever.
He loved watching old westerns with his granddaughter and the Mets with his wife. He loved telling war stories with his grandson-in-law who is active duty military. He loved tinkering with old ham radios and Doris Day songs. He loved animals and animals loved him. He was known to get down on his hands and knees and roll around with his granddaughters puppies, even in his 80s.
He was an avid sportsman. He was a competitive marksman, hunter, a “sometimes” fisherman and a gentleman farmer. The “sometimes” fisherman was when either his son in law or grandson dragged him on the lake for Walleye Opener or Browns on Lake Ontario. Gentleman farmer, raising cattle & horses fostered his daughters love of animals & paved the way for his granddaughter’s obsession with horses.
Calling hours will be held Wednesday, May 4th, 2022, from 2p-4p at the Colonial Funeral Home, 396 State Route 52, Woodbourne, NY 12788.
Arrangements under the care of Colonial Memorial Funeral Home, for further information call 845-434-7363 or visit www.colonialfamilyfuneralhomes.com
To plant a beautiful memorial tree in memory of Donald Dlugatch, please visit our Tree Store