Donald E. "Don" Backstrom
SOUTHAMPTON - Donald E. Backstrom, 82, passed away April 9, 2017, at his home in Southampton with his family by his side. He was born Oct. 12 1934, in Worcester, the son of the late Ernest and Frances (Bamford) Backstrom. He graduated from South High School in Worcester in 1952. He earned an associates degree in electrical engineering from Worcester Junior College and served eight years in the U.S. Coast Guard. On Aug. 20, 1960, he married Donna Marie Larson. They were happily married for 47 years until she passed away in 2007. He worked for the Massachusetts Electric Company for 31 years as the supervisor of field engineering. During that time he was assigned to various offices in the state of Massachusetts. He worked and lived in Attleboro for eight years, Southbridge/Sturbridge for three years, North Adams for 10 years and Northampton for 10 years. He retired in 1993 and together with Donna, built a home in Southampton in 1999. Don was always active in the churches he belonged to over the years. He served as a trustee, Sunday School teacher, choir member, and deacon. He also served as chairman of the Trustees for Camp Ashmere, a beloved Christian Camp owned by the First Baptist Church of North Adams. He had amazing carpentry and wood working skills and used his skills regularly to benefit the camp and the churches he attended, and to help family and friends. He was also known to be able to fix just about anything. He enjoyed singing in various choral groups over the years and he loved boating, especially sailing. He owned small sail boats most of his life and would take them to nearby lakes. He was an expert swimmer, and in his younger years enjoyed bowling, basketball and skiing. Crossword puzzles and Sudoku puzzles were always favorite pastimes. A few years after the death of his wife, he found happiness again when he reconnected with his former co-worker, Linda Struthers. In November, 2011 they became engaged and they had many wonderful years together. Don will be deeply missed by his fiancée Linda Struthers; his two daughters, Debora Lusnia and her husband Kent of Easthampton, and Deidra Ricci and her husband Michael of Portsmouth, Rhode Island; his sister Ellen Mitchell of Houston, Texas; and his four grandchildren, Benjamin and Jacob Ricci of Bristol, Rhode Island, and Anastasia and Katarina Lusnia of Easthampton. A memorial service will be held Saturday, May 6, at 11 a.m.at the Bible Baptist Church, 575 Morgan Road, West Springfield. The family requests the omission of flowers. www.mitchellcofuneralhome.com. To sign a Guest Book, express condolences, share memories and read other obituaries, go to www.legacy.com/obituaries/gazettenet.
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