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Welcome to the memorial page for

Donald R Staples

May 12, 1935 ~ September 2, 2017 (age 82)

GARDINER – Donald R. Staples of West Forks, died Saturday, September 2, 2017 at Eastern Maine Medical Center after a brief illness.

Born in Gardiner, Maine, May 12, 1935, the son of Henry Arthur and Olivia Holt Staples.  Donald graduated from Gardiner Area High School in 1955. He was a member of the Gardiner Tiger baseball team and was known as the “lanky righthander.”  He was scouted and courted by three major league baseball teams. 

Donny met the love of his life, Norma, at Ernie’s Drive In, Farmingdale, and they married on April 26, 1958. He began his career as a Fire Fighter for the City of Gardiner in 1967 and retired after 25 years of service in 1989, as Assistant to the Chief.  After retirement, he worked for NAPA Auto Parts and Standard Distributors. Donny and Norma moved to their camp in the West Forks in 2004, where they made their home.  In the West Forks, he served as Third Selectman and Road Commissioner and was a member of the West Forks Fish & Game Association.

He is survived by his daughter Tamra Pierce and her husband Gary of Chelsea; son Thomas Staples and his wife Angela of Gardiner; sister Barbara Jordan of South Gardiner; sister Diane Bodge of Chelsea; grandson Troy Pierce and his fiancé Chelsea of Lisbon; grandson Trever Pierce and his wife Stephanie of Jefferson; granddaughter Emily Staples and her partner Margaret of Richmond; great-grandchildren Averie, Hudson and Talon and step-granddaughters Lauren and Katelyn Boyington, as well as several special nieces and nephews. 

Donald is predeceased by his loving wife of 56 years, Norma Leavitt Staples, his parents, and siblings Shirley, Robert, Melvin, Arthur, Charles, Norman and Marion.

Donny or “Gramp” was known for his infectious smile and ability to make others laugh with his jokes.  His greatest love was his family and faithful side-kick, Coburn, whom you would see riding hand-in-paw on road trips, as they were inseparable. The family would gather at camp for Thanksgiving and Donny would reminisce about his childhood antics, stories of hunting, and loved keeping family traditions alive.   He shared his love of hunting, fishing, 4-wheeling, and snowmobiling with friends and family. Don was always up for a good party and enjoyed his boxed wine on race day.  He loved NASCAR, the Boston Red Sox, and even with all the harassment he received from his friends, he was a faithful New York Giants fan.  Over the years Gramp’s love of sports grew as he watched his grandchildren excel in high school and college sports.  Gramp and Nana were their biggest fans!!

Visiting hours will be held at Staples Funeral Home on Thursday, September 7 from 4-7 p.m.  A celebration of life will be held on Friday, September 8 at 11 a.m. at Staples Funeral Home with Firefighter Honors and a committal service will follow at Mt. Hope Cemetery, South Gardiner.  Following the service, family and friends are invited to gather at the American Legion Hall, Griffin Street, Gardiner, to continue the celebration of life for Donald R. Staples.


 Service Information

Visiting hours
September 7, 2017

4:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Staples Funeral Home
53 Brunswick Ave.
P.O.Box 598
Gardiner, ME 04345

Funeral Service
September 8, 2017

11:00 AM
Staples Funeral Home
53 Brunswick Ave.
P.O.Box 598
Gardiner, ME 04345

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