Donald Arthur Littlefield, 1932 to 2022

Fri, 02/25/2022 - 3:15am

Donald Arthur Littlefield passed away peacefully in his sleep surrounded by his loving family on February 19, 2022 in Wakefield, R.I., after a bout with pancreatic cancer.
He was born in Wakefield, R.I. on September 7, 1932, to Capt. Oswald and Isobel Littlefield of Block Island. He was a 10th generation Block Islander.

As a youth, he spent his summers at the tip of Sandy Point in the Commander of the U.S. Life Saving Service cottage; and later at his grandfather Capt. Amazon Littlefield’s yellow Victorian home on Corn Neck Road.
Don graduated in 1950 from Old Lyme High School in Old Lyme, Conn. In 1954 he received a B.S. from the University of Connecticut School of Business in Storrs, Conn. Don went on to be a 1st lieutenant in the U.S. Army, stationed in France as comptroller at an aerial re-support center during the Korean Conflict.

Upon his return to Old Lyme, he joined the Ancient Free and Accepted Masons, Pythagoras Lodge #45, and later was a member of the King David Lodge in Taunton, Mass.

Don was employed by the Aetna Insurance Co. in Hartford, Conn., and transferred to Boston. In 1959, he joined the J. R. Tallman Insurance Co. in Taunton, Mass, as vice president and general manager.
Civic-minded, Don was president of Morton Hospital, president of Rotary International, and served as a Paul A. Harris Fellow. He was on the Taunton Savings Bank board of directors, Pilgrim Congregational Church board of managers, United Way business division chairman, commissioner of the Old Colony Historical Society, and a lifetime member of the Block Island Historical Society.
Residing in nearby Raynham, Mass., Don was president of the Edgewood Swim and Tennis Club; on the board of directors of the Raynham Public Library, and president of the Attleboro Ski Club.
Upon his retirement in 1994, he and Lydia moved to their summer home on Block Island, built in 1969, overlooking Sachem Pond and the North Light.

Don served on the original North Light Commission for 20 years, as well as the Block Island Conservancy board of directors, Harbor Church board of trustees, Town of New Shoreham Conservation Commission, and the Double Ender Committee.
Many remember him as “Uncle Sam,” rollerblading in the B.I. Fourth of July parade while handing out small U.S. flags to children along the parade route. He was honored as Grand Marshal for his 20 years of participation in the parade; passing the role on to the next generation of family members.
As vice commander of American Legion Post 36, he was known for his expertise on flag etiquette. A member of the B. I. Gardeners, Don took pleasure in passing out saplings on Arbor Day to B. I. schoolchildren. Known for his good nature, kind heart and story-telling, he enjoyed sailing his Pearson day-sailer, Eagle, in Great Salt Pond.
Don is survived by his loving wife of 63 years, Lydia Rathbun Littlefield; four daughters: Laura Bourne, Littleton, Mass; Pamela (John) Gasner, Block Island, R.I.; Lynn (Rob) Lucier, Sudbury, Mass; and Betsy Littlefield, Bend, Ore.; as well as nine grandchildren: William, Noah, and Julia Gasner; Kelsey and Jonathan Bourne; Nancy, David, Keith and Kimberly Lucier.
He was predeceased by his four brothers: James, William, Richard and Bradford Littlefield. He is survived by his sister, Isobel (Donald) Shapleigh, Westborough, Mass., and several nieces, nephews and cousins.

The family requests donations in his memory be made to the Block Island Medical Center, Box 919, Block Island, RI, 02807; or the Block Island Volunteer Fire & Rescue Squad, Box 781, Block Island, RI, 02807. A memorial service is planned on the island for late June.