Donald R. Nealon, 87, of Skaneateles passed away August 18, 2020. He was born and raised in Binghamton, NY, the son of the late Raymond and Margaret (O’Shea) Nealon. Raymond was the founder of Nealon Trucking, as well as an investor in the Yankees minor league team, the Binghamton Triplets. Don loved to share memories of he and his brothers learning to drive the company trucks as young teens and of their father regularly bringing them to Yankee stadium for games.
Don graduated from St. Paul’s High School and went on to earn his bachelors degree from St. Bonaventure University.
Upon graduation, he decided to volunteer his draft ticket and was greeted by the Army recruiters exclaiming “Volunteer? We’ve been waiting for you for 4 years!”
After boot camp, Don was trained as a Medic and was shipped off to Toul, France where the U.S. had set up hospitals and supply zones during the Cold War. He always considered this time in the Army a blessing, as he was not only able to proudly serve his country, but he was also able to see the world. He used his days off to visit many European countries and cities- including staying with family in Ireland and getting out of a speeding ticket in Northern Italy.
After his time in the military, Don married Mary Anne (Mooney) and they started a family. After a stint in North Tonawanda, the young family moved to Skaneateles in 1969- primarily because Mary Anne had gone to Lourdes Camp as a child and fondly remembered the town and lake. Don frequently stated how thankful he was to be able to raise a family in such a beautiful place and supportive community- particularly after Mary Anne’s tragic death in 1979.
Don proudly worked as a salesman for Oshkosh B’Gosh for 30 years (annually hosting a sample sale in St. Mary’s rec center)- and later in life went back to his trucking roots to drive big rigs all over the U.S. for a few years.
Don was very holy and a communicant of St. Mary’s church. Throughout the hardships in his life, his faith never wavered. He truly cherished the time he spent with family and was a supportive friend to many (particularly friends of Bill/the Hilltop lunch crew).
His loving nature, endless jokes, and positive attitude will be greatly missed. And the Yankees, Buffalo Bills, Syracuse Orange and Notre Dame have all lost an avid fan.
He is survived by his son James Nealon, three daughters, Mary Pat Nealon, Kathryn LaPerle and Anne Fouser; four grandchildren: Patrick Nealon, Elizabeth Nealon, Grace Fouser, Eve Fouser- and several nieces and nephews.
In addition to his parents, Don was predeceased by his brothers Bob and Bud (Ray), wife Mary Anne, son Donny- and longtime companion, Barbara.
Friends and relatives are invited to join the family October 14 at 10:00am at St. Mary’s of the Lake Church for Mass. Burial for family only will follow at St. Mary’s Cemetery. A small gathering will be at The Sherwood Inn afterwards.
In lieu of flowers, please make a contribution to a charity of one's choice, in Don’s memory.
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