| August 28, 1935 - May 11, 2010|
John D. Champlain
John Donald Champlain, 74, of Port Orange, FL, formerly of Bridgewater, CT died at Danbury Hospital on Tuesday, May 11th. He was born in Peabody, MA on August 28, 1935, son of the late John D. and Mary Elizabeth (Luz) Champlain. He was a graduate of Peabody High School and graduated from the Air Force Cadet Air Training Program at Bryan Air Force Base in Texas in 1957.
Mr. Champlain was a veteran of the Vietnam War, serving as a Captain in the United States Air Force. He was stationed at Moody AFB, Stead AFB, Maxwell AFB and Tyndall AFB where he was honorably discharged after 10 years of service in January of 1966. He received the Good Conduct Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, Air Force Longevity Service Award with 1 Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster, Air Force Outstanding Unit Award, Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, and the National Service Defense Medal.
After discharge from the military, Mr. Champlain worked as a pilot for American Airlines, retiring as a captain after 35 years. He was an active member of the Grey Eagles.
Mr. Champlain was also an active member of the Experimental Aircraft Association Chapter 288 and the Air Force Association's James R. McCarthy Chapter 397. He was instrumental in the Wright Flight Program, motivating students to set and achieve higher goals in their educational and personal development.
He was a parishioner of Our Lady of Hope in Port Orange, FL and was a 29 year cancer survivor. Mr. Champlain spent more than 25 years volunteering and was an inspiration to all. He was a member of the Narragansett Indian Tribe of Rhode Island and will forever be remembered as a true Patriot.
Mr. Champlain will be sadly missed by his son, Steven J. Champlain and his wife, Rosemary of Brookfield, CT; his three daughters, Heidi C. Champlain of Kent, CT, Sandra M. Champlain of Byfield, MA, and Karen L. Matthews of Tallahassee, FL; his six grandchildren, Kaitlyn R. and Shannon N. Champlain, David A. Palanzo, Julia J. Gawel, Jack R. and Katherine G. Matthews. He is also survived by his brother, Joseph D. Champlain and his wife, Frances of Beverly, MA; his sister, Donna E. Champlain of Byfield, MA; and his two nephews, Joseph D. and Jamie D. Champlain.