Don was Delran through and through. Born and raised, his father was the mayor in the 40s, and he served on the Town Council. Don was instrumental in creating the Delran Police Department. In his younger years he played football for Palmyra High. After graduation he served our nation in the Navy and later the Air Force when he figured out he wasn’t a fan of ships. Stationed in Germany, he had the time of his life and gained a few pounds. He returned stateside and finished out his military career in New Mexico. When he came back to NJ he bought land in Delran and built his own home while going to college and working at his father’s accounting firm. The Makin home became a home to anyone and everyone; a safe place for any of the friends of the Makin kids. It was full of love, hugs, laughter and snacks. Don was always in motion, ice skating, swimming, and fishing right out back of the family home at Swedes Lake, known as Lake Suey. He enjoyed working with wood; everything from model airplanes to home improvements. Quieter times found him doing crossword puzzles, gardening, especially growing tomatoes, and taking his family camping in the summer to Maine, Vermont, and NJ State Parks. At the end he loved his Alexa, getting her to play his songs, fetch the Phillies score or turn on his bedroom light.
He met a pretty girl at a talent show: Joan did a hula dance and Don sang. They’d share a 67-year marriage, Donald, the captain of the ship, but married to the Admiral. They were blessed by two children: Dawn Banski and Joe; and later by her grandkids, Christopher, Jonathon, Sarah and Allen; his nieces Donna Koukoulas Wenzke and Linda Blackman.
Come celebrate 90 great years Thursday 12 p.m. to 2 p.m. at Sweeney Funeral Home, Riverside where there will be a 2 p.m. service. Interment Lakeview Cemetery, Cinnaminson. In lieu of flowers donations to Friends of the Burlington County Animal Shelter (friendsofbcas.org)