Donald H. Temple

ATHOL — A graveside service for Donald Temple who passed away Jan. 31, 2017, will be held Sunday, June 11, at Gethsamane Cemetery at 1 p.m.

A celebration of life will follow at the Ellinwood Country Club, 1928 Pleasant St., Athol.

ATHOL — Donald H. Temple, 77, passed on, with his family by his side, on Jan. 31, 2017, following a courageous battle with cancer. He was born April 2, 1939, in Gardner, to Frances and Roscoe Temple, and was a lifelong resident of Athol.

Don attended Athol schools and joined the Navy after high school. His tour was extended during the Cuban Missile Crisis where he served on the USS Constitution. After an honorable discharge, he returned home to his high school sweetheart and love of his life, Julia (Lamarche) Temple. They married in October of 1961 and started their family the following year with the birth of their daughter, Michelle, followed a year later by son Scotty who was born and died on Christmas day in 1963. Two years later daughter Holly was born, and then almost five years later, their son Darrell came along to complete the family.

In addition to being a devoted husband and father, Don was a hard worker, avid golfer and game player, hobby enthusiast, and good friend. He practically grew up on the Ellinwood Golf course where he had his first job as a caddy, as well as being a longstanding member throughout the years. He taught friends and family members the sport, won a few club tournaments and trophies, kicked a few butts along the way and had his share of “good fellowship” at the 19th hole. He was also a member of the Athol-Orange Elks Lodge, enjoying many events at the club and good times playing pool and enjoying drinks with friends in the members’ lounge. He also enjoyed tooling around in his home workshop, handcrafting furniture and cribbage boards for his kids and friends and working on home improvement projects, tinkering on the computer and online, playing cribbage and horseshoes, and eating!

Don and Julia enjoyed many activities as a couple as well, including bowling leagues at the French King and Lucky Lanes, square dancing with the Jumptown Twirlers, and motorcycling with their club, Pete’s Roamers. They camped all over New England, with seasons spent at the Ranch in Orange while the kids were growing up and the last 23 years spent camping at Pinehurst Resorts, in Old Orchard Beach, Maine. He had many fond memories of good times and friendships formed while camping.

Don’s career after the Navy started at Temple Oil, where he worked his way from pumping gas to service manager. He struck out on his own to start Temple Enterprises, a gas consulting company, and acted as town gas inspector for several years. He finished out his career at Eastern Propane in Winchendon, where he worked in service then sales, from which he retired in 2000 to spend his retirement benefits in style. He also served his community as a member of the Athol-Royalston School Committee and assisting his wife with Camp Fire Girls of America leadership duties.

Don and Julia traveled as much as possible over the years, including trips to Europe, the Mexican Riviera, and much of the United States, loving the Southwest and Alaska the most. Along the way, they made so many new friends.

Don will be best remembered for his outgoing personality, easy smile and cornball jokes. He genuinely loved people and it showed in everything that he said and did. He loved life and lived it to the fullest extent possible. Even in sickness, he faced it with a positive attitude and his smile, bright blue eyes and warmest of hearts never faded.

He will be missed more than words can say. He leaves behind his devoted family including his loving wife Julia; #1 daughter Michelle Temple-Frizzell, her husband (and Don’s cribbage partner) Jeff and littlest sweetheart granddaughter, Joan; daughter “My Holly” Young and her husband Craig, #1 granddaughter Larissa and her partner, Matt Belliveau, sweet granddaughter Colleen (Coco) and wise granddaughter Kristin; and son, “Good Buddy” Darrell Temple and his partner, Evelyn O’Donnell, lovely granddaughter Julianna (Jules), one and only grandson Luke (way to go Darrell) and daughter-in-law Anne Healy-Temple. He was proud of each and every one of his kids and grand-kids and was most sad, not of dying, but of leaving them, and his beautiful Julia, behind.

He also leaves five brothers and their wives/partners, Dick and Jean Temple, of Athol, Doug and Dale Stevens, of Myrtle Beach, S.C., Jim Stevens and Sharon of Bangor, Maine, Mark and Seong-Hui Stevens of Colorado Springs, Col., and Frank and Ann Stevens, of Athol, his sister, Janice Temple, of Maynard, and many nieces, nephews, and cousins. His brothers Roy Stevens and Lenny Temple, and sister Nancy (Temple) Mitchell predeceased him, as did his parents and step-parents.

He was part of a “Breakfast Club” that included several loving cousins that he remained close to for most of his life and who were at his side to say goodbye on his last day, including Gloria and Bob Parker, Bob and Carlene Williams, and Linda and Doug Clark. And he was part of a very large circle of friends, many who were lifelong and too numerous to mention, but you know who you are.

His last weeks were spent in the hospital and at Quabbin Valley Health Care, where he was able to visit and say goodbye to many friends and family members, which meant the world to him. Special thanks to the staff of AMH and Quabbin for the caring and compassion you showed him in his final days.

As Don wished, there will be no calling hours or funeral. A simple man, he wanted a quiet cremation and a celebration of life, with love and laughter. The family will hold such a party in the spring. He also wished that everyone please be good to each other and follow the golden rule. God speed and keep you Don/Dad/Grampa. We love you thiiiiiiis much!

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to one of Don’s favorite charities: American Cancer Society (, St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital ( or the Our Lady Immaculate Church Building Fund.

Fiske-Murphy & Mack Funeral Homes, of Athol and Orange, is assisting the family with arrangements. To send an online condolence, visit



Julia you have my deepest condolences. My father, mother and I always liked Don and you. I still have some of the Avon bottles and a necklace from you. I can't think of Don though without thinking of the old VW he drove which was all decked out like a Mercedes.  

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Athol Daily News

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225 Exchange Street
Athol, MA 01331
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