Donald Arthur Ben David, 83, died Thursday, Feb. 25, 2016, at Massachusetts General Hospital, following a brief illness. Donald was the son of Augustus and Elvira (Amaral) Ben David, and was a lifelong resident of Oak Bluffs.
In his early years, Donald would help his grandfather and father in their delivery business, and took joy in raising pigs and chickens. After graduating from Oak Bluffs High School, Donald served in the U.S. Air Force as a hydraulic specialist from 1952 to 1956. He married Janine Moreau, from France, in 1954, and they had four children together.
After serving with the Air Force, Donald returned to Martha’s Vineyard and worked for his uncle and father at Ben David Motors, later taking over as co-owner with his brother Arthur. He took pride in his business, and truly relished the friendships he made with his customers. During his later life, he worked as a custodian at the Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School for more than 10 years, where he gave and received much love with the staff and students.
Donald had a zest for life, and loved helping others. He was involved with Safe Haven, Lions Club, Knights of Columbus, and the Martha’s Vineyard Harley Riders, and took great pride in his stellar job raising money for the Red Stocking Fund. He also spent 21 years volunteering for the Oak Bluffs Fire Department.
Donald leaves his wife of 40 years, Joanne (Jodi) Ben David; his daughters Michelle (Shelley) Ben David and Gisele (Gigi) Gosselin and her husband Robert; his sons Daniel Ben David and Dennis Ben David and his wife Lisa. He is also survived by his brother, Arthur Ben David, and his wife Marcelle, as well as his sister, Florence Ben David; and by six grandchildren, eight great-grandchildren, and many nieces, nephews, and godchildren, as well as many close friends.
A memorial Mass will be held at St. Augustine’s Church, Franklin Street, Vineyard Haven, at 11 am on March 12, 2016, followed by a “Celebration of His Life” at the P.A.Club, Vineyard Avenue, Oak Bluffs. It would be Donald’s wish that any donations be made to Red Stocking Fund, P.O. Box 600, Edgartown, MA, 02539 in his honor. Arrangements are under the care of the Chapman, Cole and Gleason Funeral Home, Oak Bluffs.