Born June 5, 1936 in Waterbury, Conn., he was a son of the late Louis E. and Esther (White) Filiere. He graduated from Sacred Heart High School in Waterbury and earned a degree from the University of Connecticut. He met his future bride and love of his life, Mary “Janice” Fruin at a CYO meeting at Sts. Peter and Paul Church in Waterbury and they were later married in the church April 4, 1959. They lived a short while in Connecticut and upstate New York, and eventually settled in Shrewsbury in 1969.
In addition to his best friend and wife of 55 years, Janice, he leaves his children, Donna Filiere CanditoWilliams and her husband Derek, Laurie Filiere and her husband Mark Babbitt, all of Shrewsbury, Stephen Filiere and his wife Maria of Auburn, and Michael Filiere and his wife Brenda, of Shrewsbury; and his grandchildren, Nicholas and Connor Candito, Benjamin Babbitt, Chantel Filiere, Alex Filiere and his wife Karlee, Carly Filiere, Kailey and Michael S. Filiere, Curtis, Melissa and Jaclyn Williams, Lucas Babbitt and his wife Christina, Sam Babbitt and his wife Christina, and Emily Nicasio and her husband Warlin. He also leaves his brother, Robert Filiere and his wife Joan of Rochester, N.Y., and nieces and nephews.
Don was fiercely devoted to his family and was so proud of his children and grandchildren.
Don's life was defined by his dedication to God, family, friends, and country. He enlisted in the United States Navy and honorably served his country for over 34 years in the Reserves as Master Chief Petty Officer. He also served the Town of Shrewsbury as Captain of the Shrewsbury Call Firefighters and was enormously proud of being a life-long firefighter for over 40 years. He also served as Director of the Shrewsbury Emergency Management Agency for over 20 years. He loved all three organizations and the camaraderie and friendships that he made over the years.
Professionally, he worked as the Eastern Sales Manager for Liqui-Box Corp., now Dupont Corp., for over 40 years, before retiring in 2007. He appreciated his career and was a respected manager, mentor and friend to the many professionals he worked with over the years.
Don loved to travel and he and Janice enjoyed over 58 cruises around the world. They loved their home and friends at Paugus Bay on Lake Winnipesaukee in New Hampshire. He was always glad to be on his boat with family and friends; each boat named Donald's Duck. He was happiest spending time with his many grandchildren who adored him – he loved being “Grampy.”
Family and friends will honor and remember Don's life by gathering for calling hours Wednesday, Sept. 3, from 4-8 p.m., at Heald & Chiampa Funeral Directors ~ The Sumner House, 5 Church Road, Shrewsbury Center. His funeral Mass will be celebrated Thursday, Sept. 4, at 10 a.m., at Saint Mary's Church, 640 Main St., Shrewsbury. Burial with military honors will follow in Mountain View Cemetery of Shrewsbury.
Don's family offers special thanks to Dr. Arthur Church, Dr. James Rooney, and their staff. Additional thanks to St. Vincent Hospital Nursing Station 33 and the Rose Monahan VNA Hospice staff.
Memorials in Don's name may be made to NAUS (National Association of Uniformed Services), 5535 Hempstead Way, Springfield, VA 22151.