By: James Ahstom
Barbara was born in Rome, New York. Don was born in Northampton, Massachusetts. Each had a father who was a doctor. Barbara’s father had her drive him to his house calls so that he could evaluate her driving skills and acclimatize her to cold winter weather by waiting in the car. She attended Rome Academy and Green Mountain College. Don attended the University of Massachusetts.
From 1953 to 1956, Don was a test pilot at The Air Development Center, Rome, New York. He was called back into service with the Massachusetts Air National Guard from 1957 to 1962, and flew F86 Sabre jets at the time of the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1961. He was stationed outside Strasbourg, France, and later Libya. He received a commendation for flying the photo plane used in atomic bomb studies.
Since Barbara and Don were married on May 5, 1956, they recently celebrated their sixtieth anniversary. They have two daughters and a son. Susan lives in Canandaigua Lake, New York. Martha lives in Ligonier, Pennsylvania. David lives in Wayland, Massachusetts. They have nine grandchildren and two great grandchildren.
They have lived in South Glastonbury, Connecticut (three years), Long Meadow, Massachusetts (six years), North Tonawanda, New York, Canandaigua, New York, and Longboat Key, Florida.
Don was a member of Rotary, serving as President of the Tonawanda Rotary Club and Co-Chairman of the District Youth Exchange Program. They shared their home with five Rotary youth exchange students. Two were from Mexico, one from Australia, one from Norway, and one from Japan. In honor of this activity, Barbara was awarded a Paul Harris fellowship, which provides a $1,000 donation to the Rotary Foundation in her honor.
After his military service, Don worked with Travelers Insurance Company as an agency and branch manager in Springfield, Massachusetts, and Buffalo/Niagara Falls, New York. He also was CEO and President of Humphrey and Vandervoort, Inc., an all lines commercial and industrial insurance company.
Barbara has volunteered at the Woman’s Exchange in Sarasota, and is interested in the Fund Shop. She writes a daily “joy” journal to record all things on a daily basis which give her joy. Don has an interest in woodworking, has a commercial pilot rating, and also is a Coast Guard captain for ships up to 100 tons.