US Army veteran who loved the outdoors and his dogs

WAKEFIELD — Donald Grant Webber passed away Monday, May 27 at the Melrose-Wakefield Hospital. Born in Ipswich Massachusetts on December 16, 1936, he was the favorite and only child of Milton Royce Webber and Grace Evelyn (Rutheford) Webber.

Don grew up in Rowley surrounded by his father’s family. Even though he was an only child he was part of a larger family unit. All his cousins were like brothers and sisters to him. Around 1950, he and his parents moved to Tilton, NH. In Tilton, he got to spend time with his Aunt Louise’s family. He graduated from Tilton High School in 1954.  

Don was a lover of sports. He was signed and played for the Saint Louis Cardinals farm team as a pitcher. A car accident, unfortunately, ended his baseball career when the tendons in his pitching arm were damaged. Don didn’t let that stop him. He also loved to box. In 1954 he became the Golden Gloves welterweight champion of NH and went on to become a professional boxer.

In the late 1950’s, Don enlisted in the Army and served in Milwaukee, WI where he met Shirley Ann Riggs. They were married in 1960 and moved to Massachusetts where they raised three boys. In the early 1960’s, through a Boxing connection, he got into construction which he turned into a career for over 50 years. Don enjoyed being outdoors, fishing and trapping. He also loved his dogs and had a close connection with Beagles, Houndsleys as he called them. 

In 1983, he married Sandra Cecilia Tecce of Wakefield. Last year they celebrated their 40th anniversary. Don gave his life to Jesus in the late 1970’s. He was a faithful member of the North Reading Trinity Evangelical Church for 35 years. He loved a good sermon and gospel music. In the early 1990s he left the USA for the 1st time to go on a mission trip to Romania with his church. This trip deeply impacted his life.

Don is survived by his loving wife Sandra Webber. Scott (son) and Rae Jean Webber of Portland, ME; Steve Webber (son) of Waukesha, WI; and Stacey (son) and Vicky Webber of Concord, NH; and Laura Farrel (stepdaughter) of Sumner, ME. He is also survived by his eight grandchildren and one great grandson.

A memorial service will be held for Don on Friday, July 19 at 11 a.m. at Trinity Evangelical Church, 105 Haverhill St., North Reading. Visit