Donald Campbell Potter, 97, of Forest, Virginia, passed away peacefully at home on Sunday, October 15, 2023. Donald was born in Springfield, Massachusetts in 1926 to the late Albern and Phyllis Potter. He was also preceded in death by his wife, Doris Potter, son, Donald Potter Jr., brothers, Albern Potter Jr., Douglas Potter and Gordon Potter. He is survived by a son, David Potter of Amherst, NH, sisters, Faith Miles of Westfield, MA, Alyce Norman of East Hartford, CT and Lynn Potter of Enfield, CT, his caregiving nephew and his wife, Michael and Melissa Potter of Forest, VA along with a host of other nieces, nephews, and cousins.
Donald enlisted in the U.S. Navy just two weeks after his high school graduation in 1943. He volunteered to be trained as Navy Corpsman and after completing his medical training he was assigned to the Sixth Marine Division, Second Battalion, Twenty-second Marine Regiment in the South Pacific theater as a field medic. He was stationed on Guadalcanal and Iwo Jima before eventually being sent to Okinawa with the Marines in April of 1945. On May 17, 1945 during a fierce battle for Sugarloaf Hill, Donald was shot in the leg while attending to a wounded Marine. Donald was awarded the purple heart in July of 1945 for his injury sustained in the service of his country during World War II. Donald obtained the rank of Pharmacist’s Mate, Third Class before being honorably discharged from the Navy in December of 1945.
Donald married his wife, Doris in 1948 and raised their two children, Donald Jr. and David while living in New Jersey. In 1974, they moved to Amherst, New Hampshire.
Donald spent most of his post military career working as District Sales Manager for Westinghouse Corporation. After Westinghouse, Donald worked as a sales manager for Lamco Incorporated. He retired in 1991.
Donald joined the Amherst Lions Club in September of 1975. In his nearly half century of service with the Amherst Lions Club, he held many club offices including King Lion in 1980-81. He also served at the district level as Deputy District Governor and later served as District 44N’s District Governor in 2009-10. Donald was a motivator, a mentor, a leader, a patriot, and a friend. He received many awards as a Lion. Among them were Granite State Fellow, Progressive Granite State Fellow, Melvin Jones Fellow, Progressive Melvin Jones Fellow, and Life Member.
Preserving vision was Donald’s motto and he certainly did his part. He oversaw eye screening for the community children. Don was a key member and driving force in Campaign Sight First, and Campaign Sight First II (CSFII). He was very proud of the fact that Amherst Lions were able raise nearly $50,000 for CSFII. Don also served on the New Hampshire Lions Sight and Hearing foundation. He was a board member of The New Hampshire Association for the Blind (now Future In Sight).
In the Amherst Lions Club, Don was the inspiration and the motivator for what is now our annual Car and Tractor show that started with a modest income and is now our number two fundraiser. His positive outlook on life was a great help to the club. Whenever he was in charge he would say “we are on a roll” or “let’s get this done”. He was a Lion who was early to bed and definitely early to rise, and that kept him healthy, wealthy and wise for 97 plus years. Lion Don will be missed by all who knew him.
He was also an active member of the Congregational Church of Amherst for over forty years, serving as a deacon for almost 10 years.
Donald recently relocated from his home of almost 50 years in Amherst, New Hampshire to Forest, Virginia. At the time of his passing, he was living with his nephew and his wife, Michael and Melissa Potter. Though his time in Virginia was short lived, he was very happy to be surrounded by family who loved and took care of him.
As many of you have witnessed over the last half century, Donald was very dedicated and passionate about his work with the Amherst Lions Club. For those wishing to make a memorial tribute, please consider making a charitable donation to Amherst Lions Club, P.O. Box 1105, Amherst, NH 03031.
Donald’s last wishes were to be cremated and inurned in a Department of Veteran Affairs’ (VA) National Cemetery. Donald remains will be inurned in the columbarium at Arlington National Cemetery with military funeral honors on a date yet to be determined.