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Donald N. "Don" Rattray

Obituary for Donald N. "Don" Rattray

February 2, 1937 - May 16, 2021
Melrose, Massachusetts | Age 84


Donald N. "Don" Rattray, a lifelong resident of Melrose, died peacefully on Sunday, May 16, 2021 at Care One in Wilmington, at age 84.

He was born in Stoneham on February 2, 1937, one of four children of the late Alexander and Helen (Wells) Rattray. Raised in Melrose, he graduated from Melrose High School, Class of 1955, and entered the United States Navy in 1956. After serving four years, he received an honorable discharge and began working at General Motors. In 1963, he joined the Melrose Fire Department as a Firefighter and proudly served as the tillerman on the ladder truck for 29 years. Well-liked and friendly, Don was one of the guys, enjoyed many longtime friendships and the camaraderie of the job.

Don was first married to Charlene Lyle and had three children, Wendy, Scott and Kelli. He then remarried in 1973 to Beverly Howe and had a daughter, Kim. In his younger years, he enjoyed time on Bow Lake in New Hampshire for boating, swimming and waterskiing. Later in life, he spent summer weekends in Alton Bay at Merrymeeting Campground on Lake Winnipesaukee where he kept his trailer and speed boat. He was happiest out on the lake, boating, waterskiing, or jet skiing. With his family, he was known for pulling up on the sandbar to relax and enjoy an ice-cold beer or a 4 o'clock Kahlua Sombrero.

Don was a dog lover who had many dogs over the years. Starting out with small Lhasa Apsos and graduating to his white Great Pyrenes that he was often walking around Melrose. With a love for the Patriots, he enjoyed Sundays at home watching football. He also played ice hockey, was a great roller-skater, and enjoyed playing pool or going bowling.

With knowledge of the trades and carpentry, he was always willing to help anyone with a home project. He was known for celebrating holidays with a trip to Kane's Donuts, and made the best cup of coffee for Beverly every day. Famous for his strong handshake and ready smile, Don will be greatly missed by his family and friends, but his affable nature, kind heart and generous spirit will be forever remembered.

Don was the beloved husband of Beverly (Howe) Rattray with whom he shared 48 years of marriage. Devoted father of Kimberly Quan and her husband Fred of Melrose, Wendy Pena-Smith of SC, Scott Rattray and his wife Lori of Northbridge, and Kelli Cucinotta and her husband John of Tewksbury. Dear brother of Diane Hancox and Judith Harrison, both of FL, and the late David Rattray. Cherished grandfather of Alexandra, Victoria, Matthew, John and Julien. Loving great-grandfather of Jamison and Liam. Also survived by many nieces and nephews.

Relatives and friends are invited to gather during visiting hours at the Robinson Funeral Home, 809 Main St., Melrose on Wednesday, May 19 from 4-7 pm, and for his Funeral Service celebrated on Thursday at 10am. All attendees are respectfully asked to wear face coverings and maintain social distancing. Interment in Wyoming Cemetery, Melrose. Gifts may be made to the Melrose Firefighter's Relief Fund, 576 Main St., Melrose MA 02176.

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