Dartmouth Funeral Home

230 Russells Mills Road, South Dartmouth, MA


Donald L. Zekan

September 26, 1945July 15, 2019

Donald L. Zekan, 73, passed away on the morning of 15 July 2019, two years after being diagnosed with stage IV pancreatic cancer. He is survived by his wife of 50 years, Sandra (Dolan) Zekan. Don was born in Mt. Pleasant, PA, the son of the late George and Helen (Wasko) Zekan. Don attended the University of Pittsburgh, earning a BA in Political Science. After serving as a lieutenant during the Vietnam War, Don used the GI Bill to advance his education. He received a MS in Accounting from Bentley, a MA in Public Administration and a Doctorate in Education from UMASS Amherst. Before his retirement in 2009, Don served as Vice Chancellor for Administrative and Fiscal Services at the University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth. He had previously served the following institutions of higher education: St. Bonaventure University, Massasoit Community College, and Bunker Hill Community College. Don was an avid adventurer and loved working outdoors for the Dartmouth Natural Resources Trust (DNRT). He spent his free time woodworking, playing golf, and traveling the world with his wife Sandy. His most recent trip with Sandy and several close friends was to Cuba in January. Surviving, in addition to his wife Sandy, are his children, Emily Z. Brown and her husband, Aaron, of Dartmouth, and Peter L. Zekan and his wife, Meghann, of Havertown, PA; his grandchildren Ezra Brown and Vera Zekan; and his siblings George Zekan and his wife Jean of La Canada, CA, Helen Brown of Pittsburgh, PA, and Bob Zekan of Scottdale, PA. The Funeral Mass for Don will be at 10am on Tuesday, 23 July, 2019, at St. Julie Billiart Church (494 Slocum Rd., Dartmouth). Relatives and friends are warmly invited to attend the Funeral Mass and/or the luncheon following at the Allendale Country Club at 1047 Allen St. in N. Dartmouth. In lieu of flowers, donations in his memory may be made to the DNRT, PO Box 70567, Dartmouth MA 02747, or the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network, 1500 Rosecrans Ave, Ste. 200, Manhattan, CA 90266 or pancan.org.


  • Funeral Mass Tuesday, July 23, 2019
  • Luncheon following Mass Tuesday, July 23, 2019


Donald L. Zekan

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Tom Matthews

July 22, 2019

I knew Don as a volunteer with the DNRT. He was a quiet, generous and gentle man - never looking for attention, and willing to do anything that was asked of him. Always available it seemed, even when we knew he was struggling through his treatments. Everyone loved Don and looked forward to seeing him at work parties and at our Land Management Committee meetings. He may not have spoken often, but when he did, his words were carefully chosen, meaningful and insightful. My lasting memories of Don are that he was a tremendously courageous man, full of life and spirit, sincere, compassionate and a good friend to all. He was a true gentleman and we will all miss him.

Jim Forbush

July 21, 2019

Living Life Well
I got to know Don well, over hundreds of rounds of golf, not a few beers and many, many DNRT work parties. Particular memories come to mind of Don’s hole-in-on on Allendale’s 12th hole and his carpentry work on the successful construction of the Barn Bash bridge. Don was a capable man, a kind man, a smart man, a giving man. He was a loving husband and a caring father. He enjoyed the outdoors, walking dogs, hiking trails, playing golf. He made friends easily and his friendships lasted. He volunteered often to help organizations he cared about, particularly the Dartmouth Natural Resources Trust. He set an example for many of us. He will be missed.

Paul Fairbanks

July 19, 2019

I had the good fortune of playing golf regularly with Don for the past two years at Allendale CC. We were also partners in the Tuesday night league, and that’s where his caring personality became evident. Anyone reading this that knew Don won’t be surprised to hear that he was always a supportive gentleman . (He wasn’t above giving a playing companion a well deserved humorous jab,,however.)
Don didn’t get enough recognition for his volunteer work as the Allendale treasurer. Naturally he didn’t seek recognition, but Board members credit him with saving our Club when we went through a period of low membership.
Modest, intelligent, caring, and brave are a few of the words that describe Don.
I’ll miss him. Paul


Nicole Rickard

July 19, 2019

I am so very sorry to hear of Mr. Zekan’s passing. My heart goes out to Mrs. Zekan and the entire family.
My condolences,
Nicole Rickard DVM

Carl Paladino

July 18, 2019

Don was my friend. He was dedicated to his work with an impeccable character and integrity. I so enjoyed working with him while he was at St. Bonaventure. A good man. May he Rest In Peace.

Carol Ferreira

July 16, 2019

We were so sorry to hear of your loss. Don will surely be missed by all. He was such a caring and gentle man. You and your family are in our prayers and thoughts.

Ron and Carol Ferreira