Monday, September 27, 2021


Donald Arthur Lepowe



On May 2, at the age of 84, we said so long to our beloved “Big Guy.” Donald Arthur Lepowe passed in peace with his two greatest fans by his side, daughters, Robyn Lepowe Zoufaly of Madison, and Cynthia Lepowe Leveillee of Longmeadow, Massachusetts.

A quiet rebel, eternal optimist, and the greatest of comics, Donald was a self-made man who at the tender age of 16 years old became the head of his family following the death of his father Robert I. Lepowe. With a strong work ethic, a determined attitude, and an ice cream truck, Donald put himself as well as one of his two sisters through college. With many humorous tales along the way, Donald graduated from American International College in June of 1958 with a B.A. in economics. That September he enlisted in the Army, where he was assigned to accounting, despite his lack of accounting experience. Needless to say, the books were never the same. Although we all agreed less damage was done there than could have been done in special operations, being that Donald’s tool of choice was always a full roll of duct tape.

While stationed in Newfoundland, Canada, Donald met the love of his life, Hettie Mae Street, who he devoted himself to for more than 60 years until her passing in April 2019. Mae was also survived by her loving daughter Beverly Street Roberts of Newfoundland Canada.

After serving five years in the military Donald and his bride returned to the U.S. and settled down in Longmeadow, Massachusetts. While successfully supporting his wife and two young daughters, Donald put himself through law school. He graduated from Western New England College in April 1972 and promptly passed the bar exam with ease the first time. He accomplished all this while prosperously operating his own business, Dynamic Equipment Company.

Even with all of these life distractions, Donald always put his family and his love for them first, planning vacations and birthday parties or just starting everyone’s days off crooning his lovely renditions of “Blueberry Hill” or “Good Morning Breakfast Clubbers.” After surviving years’ worth of conversations revolving around manicures and hairdos, Donald breathed a sigh of relief when he welcomed his sons-in-law Dennis Zoufaly and Bret Leveillee to the family, reveling in his much deserved “guy time.”

At the age of 60, Donald happily retired, enjoying his vacation homes and playing golf and proudly watching his family flourish. Seven grandchildren later, Donald became affectionately known as Gramps to Amelia Zoufaly Manko, Olivia, and Zoe Zoufaly of Madison and Bennett, Reid, Pierce, and Brooke Leveillee of Longmeadow, Massachusetts. On March 4, 2021, Donald became a great-grandfather to Meadow Street Manko, whom he was able to hold in his arms.

Many times at family gatherings, you would see Donald scanning the room with love and a look of disbelief that he was the root of all this beauty.

To try and sum up such an incredibly strong man, a man so sincere and loving, and the 84 years he graced the planet in a few paragraphs is impossible, but Donald’s legacy will surely live on. We love you Dad, and don’t get into any trouble!

Donations made in Donald’s honor may be sent to Alzheimer’s Association.

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