OGDENSBURG -- Donald F. Awan, 93, of Ogdensburg passed away on Monday, December 26, 2022 at his home surrounded by his loving family.
Donald was born on August 23, 1929 in Ogdensburg, son of the late Assid and Pearl (Russell) Awan.
He is survived by Lorraine, his wife of over 69 years; a son, Craig Awan of Ogdensburg; daughters, Odessa (Ray) Dean of Liverpool, NY and Cyrena (Rafael) Valladares of Fayetteville, NY; grandchildren, Nathanial Dean of Chicago, IL, Jared Dean of Kingston, NY, Arianna (Daniel) Feinberg of Carrollton, TX, Jacob and Jaedyn Awan of Ogdensburg, Rafael and Camila Valladares of Fayetteville, NY; great-grandchildren, Madelyn Dean, Levi and Reagan Feinberg; and a half-sister, Loraine Jones Smith of Cordova, TN.
While a high school student, Donald worked at Carbino’s Jewelers where he learned to repair clocks and watches. He graduated from Ogdensburg Free Academy in 1948. Subsequently, he worked at Circle Supply hardware store as a salesclerk.
Between 1950 and 1952, he served in the U.S. Army as a private first class working as a motor pool mechanic in Korea. Donald received a United Nations Service Medal and a Korean Service Medal with 1 Bronze Service Star. Upon returning home, Donald worked at Walter Lakey Jewelers where he cleaned clocks and watches and Fournier Oldsmobile Garage as a mechanic.
In May 1953, Donald opened The Sports Mart located in the 1300 block of Ford Street, then he subsequently moved the store to 828 Ford Street where it was located until closing in July 1999. Initially, he sold and repaired Starcraft boats and Scott-Atwater outboard motors. He then shifted to selling a wide range of sporting goods, including the popular Converse sneakers. A self-taught gunsmith, Donald sold and repaired firearms for generations of hunters and sportsmen. He served on numerous sporting goods dealer national advisory panels. The Sports Mart was a busy social gathering spot where friends exchanged stories and played chess. Newcomers were offered the infamous Zap Box or an envelope of ‘rattlesnake eggs’.
On August 14, 1953, he married the love of his life, Lorraine Beatrice Klock at St. John’s Episcopal Church in Ogdensburg with Father Weir officiating.
Donald was a master instructor who taught hunter safety courses for 28 years. In addition, he was a competitive shooter. He excelled at pistol (master pistol shooter) and shotgun sports (trap and skeet); in these pursuits he achieved many perfect scores and awards. Donald was an avid hunter and fisherman, enjoyed photography, astronomy and was a voracious reader. He was blessed with a naturally inquisitive mind and was known to repair or improve any item on which he worked.
Donald and fellow divers Edward (Buddy) Brouse and James Mee recovered a ship's anchor in the St. Lawrence River in 1969. The anchor, chain and the dock on which it rests is dedicated to the memory of all residents of the North Country who sailed the St. Lawrence River and the Great Lakes and is located in Morissette Park, Ogdensburg.
Donald was a member of the Masonic Lodge #128 for 71 years, and a former member of Elks Lodge #772. He was a founding member of the St. Lawrence Valley Sportsmen’s Club, and a director of 35 Mile Club in Hopkinton, NY. He also served as treasurer of Boy Scouts of America Troop #3, and a director of Upstate National Bank’s board. He was an NRA Lifetime Member.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made in Donald’s name to an organization of your choice, or to the Donald F. Awan Scholarship Fund, c/o St. Lawrence Federal Credit Union (333 State St, Ogdensburg, NY 13669). Thoughts, condolences, fond memories, and prayers may be made to the family of Mr. Donald Awan through Fox and Murray Funeral Home at www.foxandmurrayfuneralhome.com.
A memorial service will be held in the spring.