My uncle Don passed away from a heart condition last week. He was 74.

I don’t know about you, reader, but in addition to being saddened when a relative passes, I’m also often amazed by how much you learn about his or her accomplishments. I’m reprinting my uncle’s obituary here. We never made it out to New York to spend any time on the St. Lawrence Seaway with him, hoping that we would do that “one of these summers.”

Don R. Antonette, 74, of Daytona Beach passed away Friday, March 30, 2012.

Don was born in Omaha, Nebraska, September 18, 1937, the son of Raymond R.& Nora E. Antonette. Don was raised and educated in Sioux City, Iowa, and graduated from Morningside College in 1962. Don joined Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Co. in 1961 as a College Agent. In 1963 moved to Le Mars, Iowa, as District Agent for NML. In 1976 he was promoted to General Agent and moved to New Hartford, NY. He married Virginia Durst Abdo onAugust 27, 1976. Don retired from Northwestern Mutual LifeApril 30, 1996. Don received his Chartered Life Underwriters (CLU) designation in 1971 and Chartered Financial Consultant (CHFC) in 1984. He held various offices in the Mohawk Valley Association of Chartered Life Underwriters.

His activities in Jaycees earned him Outstanding Local President in Iowa in 1965, and was awarded the highest award in 1968, the JCI Senatorship. He was named one of America’s Outstanding Young Men in 1968. Active in many local and regional affairs he was a member of the New Hartford Kiwanis, and a 4th Degree Member of the Knights of Columbus. Don’s memberships also included Yahnundasis Golf Club, Utica Curling Club, Upstate Flying Club, Woods Lake Hunting Club and a Communicant of St. Johns Evangelist in New Hartford, NY.

Don and Virginia retired to Daytona Beach, Florida, in 1999. Don was active in the Pelican Bay Country Club and Pelican Bay Homeowners Association. Don was a life member of BPOE Elks, and a member of the American Legion. He was a member of Our Lady of Hope Catholic Church where he volunteered with the St Vincent DePaul Food Pantry and Thrift Store. He also volunteered for the Habitat for Humanity.

Don enjoyed spending his time with family and his grandchildren; he also enjoyed golfing, traveling with friends, fishing, hunting and spending his summers at the St. Lawrence River, NY.

He will be missed by his wife Virginia of 35 years; children Debra (Rod) Kenowith of LeMars Iowa; Nancy (Mike) Schroeder of Granger, Iowa; Dawn (Tony) Antonette-Luce of New Hartford, NY; Carol (Dan) Abdo-Brownsberger of Daytona Beach, Florida; Theresa (Greg) Garthright of Lincoln, Nebraska and Michael Abdo, Utica NY. Also surviving are his brothers Richard (Dee) Antonette, Lake Jackson, TX; Edward (Doretha) Antonette, Goleta, CA. Grandchildren: Daniel Kenowith; Kristen & Keni Schroeder; Giavanna & Anthony Jr. Luce; Matthew & Jon Brownsberger; Matthew, Melissa, & Kari Garthright.