Donald Block, 76 years of age, passed away peacefully on October 13, 2012, surrounded by his wife Susan and his children Peter and Julie. Local businessman, and regular of the Tumblebrook lunch crowd, through his businesses and social relationships, he always managed to learn people’s names and take an interest in their personal lives. A West Hartford native, and son of the late Charles Block and Mildred (Franklin Block) Matchton, Donald was a graduate of William H. Hall High School West Hartford, and Babson College, Wellesley, MA, where he majored in business and wrote a thesis on Supermarkets. After graduating from Babson in 1959, Donald joined Popular Markets, a Connecticut and Massachusetts family supermarket chain. In 1965 he assumed the position of president. While CEO of Popular he was elected a member of the Supermarket Institute. Popular Markets was sold in 1972 and Donald founded Marmac Distributors a health and beauty aids distribution company selling to drug stores and supermarkets. In 1980 Marmac expanded to include prescription pharmaceuticals, and added hospitals to its customer base, making Marmac the fastest growing independent wholesaler serving all of New England. 1988 brought a merger between Marmac and Cardinal Health Inc. of Columbus, Ohio, and Donald became a corporate Vice President of Cardinal as well as President of the Marmac division. He remained with Cardinal until his retirement in December 1994. In January 1995 Donald began Real Estate Investment Services to provide consulting services and investment opportunities to real estate investors. Donald loved being busy and cherished this daily work until his death. Donald was active in various philanthropic and community organizations. He was a Thirty Second Degree member of the Masons and a member of Melha Temple Shriners where he served on the Shriners Hospital review board until 1966, and in 2010 Donald received his certificate for 50 years of membership as a Mason. He served on the administrative committee of Hartford Jewish Federation from 2001 to 2003. Donald was a member of Temple Beth Israel since 1965 and Tumble Brook Country Club where he enjoyed being with his friends and playing golf, and he was proud to be a member of the Toppers a social and philanthropic club. Donald is survived by his wife, Susan, who he adored, supported and tried to keep up with for more than 50 years, and who he counted on for care-taking. He leaves his daughter Julie, who feels lucky and fortunate to have spent meaningful time caring for her father on his journey with cancer, and her husband Kenny Saffir, who shared many lunches, Wednesday night dinners and fun golf games. He also leaves behind his son, Peter, who inherited his boisterous laugh, and love of films and reading, and his wife Lisa, of Los Angeles. His days were brightened by his grandchildren, Robin Saffir, Ethan Block and Zoe Block who he loved very much. The family would like to thank Dr. Robert Siegel and his devoted care team including primary nurse Laurie, and lab technician Nana, and the rest of the wonderful and supportive staff at the Helen and Harry Gray Cancer Center. In addition he is grateful for his family relationships with Bill and Harriet Katz, Gladie and Steve Lauer, Gary and Debbie Katz, Lynn and John Patrizio, and his great-nephew and four great-nieces.
Funeral services will be held Tuesday, October 16, 2012 at 1 p.m. in the Chapel of the Weinstein Mortuary, 640 Farmington Ave., Hartford, with Rabbi Michael Pincus officiating. Interment will follow in Fairview Cemetery, Whitman Ave., West Hartford. A memorial period will follow at Temple Beth Israel from 3-8 p.m. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Hole In The Wall Gang Camp, Congregation Beth Israel or charity of your choice . For further information, directions, or to sign the guest book for Donald, please visit online at www.weinsteinmortuary.com/funerals.cfm.