He pursued a lifelong passion for fine art, photography, music, and the study of nutrition and health. He maintained a love of classical music, opera and jazz throughout his life.
Growing up in the Bronx, New York, he was artistic and creative from an early age. At the age of 11, he devilishly painted Disney characters on the bottoms of his mother's fine china. In high school, he learned to play saxophone and clarinet, which he played into his adult years.
He was drafted into the Army during the Korean War, and was assigned to the US Army Airborne Division as a paratrooper, and later as a photographer with the Army Press Corps. While serving, his talent for photography would be recognized and developed.
After serving his country proudly, he returned to New York and soon became enrolled in the Pratt Institute of Art, where he would learn and later instruct fine art painting under the tutelage of contemporary artist Adolph Gottlieb. His path would next lead him to New York's Madison Avenue and the advertising business. He thrived as a commercial and fine art photographer, copywriter, typesetter, graphic designer and account executive. He won several awards for his fine art photography. For a dozen years he dedicated time to promote events and produce recordings for blind musicians as voluntary director of the Louis Braille Foundation. He was also involved in the development of New York Music Week, and was a founding member of the New York Music Task Force, both of which promoted music in the City of New York through free public concerts.
He met his wife Barbara at a seminar discussing the health and wellness writings of Edgar Cayce, and at the age of 37 became father to son Joshua. He would utilize his gift for creative promotion and marketing to propel Joshua's career as a child actor.
His passion for nutrition and health led him to be a founding member of 'the Joggernauts' jogging club in late 1960s Brooklyn Heights, NY. Two decades later, he would be at the helm of the Haydenergy company, promoting a line of vitamins, milkshakes and protein bars created by celebrity-nutrition expert Naura Hayden.
During his next phase of life, he and family would relocate to Southern California, where he would become involved in the production of Home Remodeling consumer events and the publishing of Los Angeles Tennis magazine. He was proud of his efforts associated with the launch of the California NOW trade and consumer food event at the L.A. County Fairgrounds.
He would survive wife Barbara, who passed in 1996. In his next chapter, the path would shift to coordinating public relations and media for events, theatrical productions, and restaurants. He found love a second time and shared a dozen wonderful years with dear Elizabeth before the heavens called her home.
He would find fellowship as a member of such fraternal organizations as The Friars Club, B'nai B'rith Performing Arts chapter, Beverly Hills Business & Professionals Association, and he was a founding member of the New York Alumni Association.
His later years would bring him to Ann Arbor, Michigan, closer to extended family. He rekindled his love of outdoor photography and found joy in working out at the YMCA, participating in Chair Yoga and Tai Chi classes, and playing Scrabble UpWords, Bridge, Canasta, and Dominoes. He was blessed to find love a third time, and he cherished time together with beloved Susan. In late 2022, Susan answered the call from heaven, mere weeks after he had sustained a serious fall.
Donald is survived by Son Joshua, Brother-in-Law David, David's partner Carolyn, and an extended family of friends, relatives and neighbors.
A memorial visitation with sandwiches and refreshments will be held from 2:00-4:00pm with a Memorial Service at 4:00pm on Saturday, February 10th, 2024 at Muehlig Funeral Chapel, 403 S. 4th Ave., Ann Arbor, MI 48104. Donalds Memorial Service will be live streamed and please click the following link to view the service live https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q1t_Ottjp4E