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Donald R. “Doug” Keniston, 96, a lifelong Upton resident, entered into eternal life on Friday, December 28, 2018, at the Milford Regional Medical Center. He was the husband of the late Marjorie A. (Chapdelaine) Keniston, who passed away in 2005.
Doug leaves a daughter, Lorraine “Lorrie” Loeper, her husband David, and his grandchildren Whitney and Curtis of Upton. He also leaves a foster brother Joseph Veghte of New Jersey, and many nieces and nephews. Doug is predeceased by an infant son Robert Lowell Keniston in 1959 and foster brother Francis “Red” Bowen of Upton.
Born in Worcester on August 10, 1922, and was adopted by his late mother, Rubelle Keniston. Doug served proudly in the Army Air Forces during WWII and the Air Force reserve during the Korean War. Doug also served in the Community that he loved. He was a member of the VFW and founding member of the George L. Wood VFW Post 5594, serving as Commander for one year and Chaplin for 70 years. Doug was a member of the Veteran’s Council for 72 years and was actively involved with the Memorial Day ceremonies each year including serving as Master of Ceremonies for over 20 years. He was in charge of the VFW Flea Markets for many years, was the P.R. man for the VFW Car show, and was the man who said “Play Ball” to begin Upton’s baseball season on Loyalty Day.
A volunteer call firefighter for 33 years and special police officer for many years in the town of Upton; he was honored as the Heritage Homecoming Outstanding Living Citizen, was the Grange Man of the Year, had a tree planted in his honor at the Memorial School on Arbor Day, and was the Grand Marshall at Upton’s 275th Anniversary Parade in 2010.
Doug was Upton’s Tree Warden for 50 years and was on the Cemetery Commision for six years. Doug worked at Draper Corporation in Hopedale and then worked for the Upton DPW, serving as the sidewalk supervisor ensuring that the sidewalks were safe for pedestrians during many winter storms. He was a life member of both the Upton Historical Society and the Massachusetts Tree Wardens Association. He was a beloved member of the Upton Methodist Church and the United Parish of Upton.
For all the service that Doug provided for his family, friends, community and country; he will be remembered mostly for his friendly smile, quick wit, and kind words for everyone he met. His spirit is living in all those that new and loved him.
His funeral service will be held on Thursday, January 10, at 10:00 AM at the United Parish of Upton Church, 1 Church Street, Upton. Burial, with military honors will follow in Lakeview Cemetery.
Calling hours at the Williams-Pedersen Funeral Home, Inc., 45 Main Street, Upton, are Wednesday, January 9, from 4 to 7 PM.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made payable to the Donald R. Keniston “Plant-A-Tree” Fund, c/o Unibank, P.O. Box 1203, Upton, MA 01568 or to the charity of one’s choice.