Donald W. Zahn, 87, Watertown

WATERTOWN, NY — Donald W. Zahn, 87, Watertown, passed Friday, Feb. 22, while at The Grand Nursing Home in Rome, NY, where he had been a resident since December.

Calling hours will be held 3 to 5 p.m. Friday, March 1, at Reed & Benoit Funeral Home in Watertown. Burial services will be conducted in the spring at the family plot in the Black River Cemetery.

He was born Oct. 27, 1931, in Carthage, NY, the son of Herman L Zahn and Vera Weir Zahn, he attended and graduated from Black River High School.

He was predeceased by his older brother Herman L Zahn, Jr, and recently, by his younger sister Marcia J Smith.

He is survived by his nephew, Dr. Patrick B Smith, Clay, NY.

Donald and his brother continued the operation of the family dairy farm started in the 1930s and 1940s by their father and always beamed with pride in highlighting their accomplishments over the decades in expanding the farm, the land and the equipment needed to produce high quality milk.  He labored 7 days a week, often with late hours, but did so out of his love of the land and the business.

Along with the dairy farm, they acquired an automobile scrap business in Felts Mills in the 80’s which was another source of pride as he helped many people find an end for enumerable cars, trucks and everything on wheels. He could tell you an inventory of every item in the yard, where it came from, its history, and of course, its value. In addition to all this, they decided to add a sand and gravel business and spent a decade mining their land in Rutland and Felts Mills.

As time passed, as it is for many, each of these loves became someone else’s to transform. Don would recount the years of people, history and accomplishments made to friends, old and new, and this brought him much happiness.

In the end, Don succumbed to age and the affects of dementia. As any family afflicted with this disease can attest, medical and social support is helpful to the overall health of not only the patient, but of the family as well. If you have friends or family suffering with dementia or Alzheimers, reach out in any capacity you can to offer support, friendship, or just a few minutes to listen.

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