Donald S. Hassell

Donald S. Hassell, age 95, recently of Braintree and previously a 64 year resident of Holbrook, died peacefully, on August 24, 2018 at Pat Roche Hospice in Hingham surrounded by his loving family. Don was born in the family home on West Street in Hyde Park MA to the late Everett and Ruth (Warren) Hassell. He graduated from Hyde Park High School class of 1940.
He enlisted in the Navy on Memorial Day in 1942 and served in a carrier aircraft service unit as a machinist stationed in Hawaii during WWII. Don carried his mechanical knowledge into his civilian life. He was a hard worker and a jack-of-all trades who enjoyed finding creative solutions to problems. This made him well suited to his long time employment at Polaroid Corporation, where working with engineers, he utilized his skills as a machinist to create the original models for new camera designs including the popular SX-70.

Don continually kept his mind active, enjoyed puns and crossword puzzles, and had a number of hobbies including carpentry and woodwork, building airplane models, coin collecting, stamp collecting, heraldry, and inventing. As a teen, Don made extra money as a golf caddy, and his enthusiasm for the game continued throughout his life. He played until age 90 and watched the Golf channel daily. Don supported each of children as individuals. He believed in the value of education, putting all five of his children through college. He also coached Little League baseball. He was a caring father and husband who set an example of hard work and a healthy lifestyle which is carried on in his children.

Don met his wife Emily when his family moved into the house across the street from hers on Dana Ave in Hyde Park. They married in 1949, and in 1954, they bought a house on Westdale Road in Holbrook. They enjoyed family vacations in Cape Cod and New Hampshire. On their honeymoon and in middle age they enjoyed cross country skiing together. In retirement, he and Emily spent winters in Florida.

He was the beloved husband for 69 years of Emily (Casciano) Hassell; devoted father of Stephen Hassell and Diane DeCoste of Arlington; Virginia Campbell and Diane Murphy of Norwich, CT; Daniel and Kathleen Hassell of Norwell; Mary Hassell-Hunt and John Sousa of Rumford, RI; Alan Hassell and Susan Zwick of Arlington. He was the loving "Grandpa" of Jacqueline, Joseph and Alexandra; Lane and Bryan; Angela, Matthew, and David; Melissa; Nolan and Kent; great grandfather to Travis, and Olivia. He is survived by one sister, Kathleen Ledbetter of Medfield; as well as many nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his three brothers, Everett, Herbert, and Joseph.

Funeral from the Hurley Funeral Home, 127 So. Franklin St. (Rt. 37), Holbrook on Wednesday September 5th at 9:15am followed by a funeral mass at St. Joseph’s Church in Holbrook at 10am. Relatives and friends are respectfully invited to attend. Visiting hours will be held Tuesday, September 4th from 4-8pm. Interment Union Cemetery, Holbrook. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to VNA Care at 500 Rutherford Ave Charlestown MA 02129 or to the Norwell VNA at


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