James Detenber, 78


Westborough – James Donald “Don” Detenber, 78, of Westborough, passed away Sunday, Dec. 8, 2013 after living with cancer for 14 years.

He was born April 26, 1935 in Louisville, Kentucky, where he graduated from DuPont Manual High School and received a BS in Chemistry from the University of Louisville in 1956. He married Jane B. Hill in 1954, and relocated to New Castle, Delaware in 1958. He later moved to Akron, Ohio and Georgetown, Massachusetts before settling in Westborough in 1969, where he resided for 44 years.

Don worked for Dupont as a development chemist for more than 10 years in several locations, and eventually founded his own business called Detenber Sales, later renamed Yankee Machinery. His company, which served most of the northeast region, specialized in equipment used in plastics manufacturing. Near the end of his career, he worked part-time for Absolute Machinery before retiring in 2012 after 55 years in the plastics industry.

Don contributed generously to many organizations, especially those related to the environment and health and wellness. He loved travelling, and visited Asia, Europe, and Central America numerous times. He was an avid sailor, and enjoyed sports, collecting Native American art, fine wine, and healthy eating. One of his greatest joys was spending time with his four children and six grandchildren. He was a loyal friend, inspiring support and mentor to many who he considered extended family and longtime buddies.

Don is survived by his children and their families, Lore Detenber of Northampton, Leslie Detenber of Washington, D.C., Benjamin Detenber of Singapore, and Sarah Detenber of Northampton, as well as his former wife, Jane Hill Detenber of Cambridge. He is also survived by his three brothers, Sterling “Bud” Detenber of Jefferson, Indiana, Bill Detenber of Corydon, Indiana, and Bob Detenber of Louisville, Kentucky.

A memorial service will be held Sunday, Dec. 15, from 12 – 4 p.m. (service at noon, visiting afterward), at the Tower Hill Botanic Garden, 11 French Dr., Boylston (classrooms A and B). No entrance fee will be required for those attending the service.

Flowers can be sent to Tower Hill Botanic Garden, 11 French Dr., Boylston, MA? 01505-0598, 508-869-6111 (phone).

Donations can be made to any one of the following: Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation (MMRF), 383 Main Ave., 5th Floor, Norwalk, CT 06851, 203-229-0464 (phone), www.themmrf.org; The Nature Conservancy, 99 Bedford St., 5th floor, Boston, MA 02111, http://www.nature.org/; or Mass Audubon Fund for Nature, 208 South Great Rd., Lincoln, MA 01773, 781-259-9500 (phone), www.massaudubon.org/fund4nature.

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