Newbury, MA — Donald F. Gladu, 78, of Newbury, passed away on Tuesday, February 26, 2013 during his return flight from his winter home in Naples, Florida. He was predeceased by his loving wife of 54 years Kathleen (Downing) Gladu who passed away on June 15, 2011 and their infant son Donald F. Gladu, Jr. (1959).
For the past two years Don lived with his daughter, Pamela Rolfe and her husband Joseph Rolfe, III of Newbury and he was a proud Grampy to Jonathan Rolfe, Tara Holbrook and their daughter Isabella; Daniel Rolfe, Kimberly Hastings and their sons Ethan and Jackson; SSgt. Patrick Rolfe, USAF McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, NJ and Jonathan and Zander Rolfe of Salisbury. Two sisters, Joan Burhans of CT and Marilyn and Wayne Holt of Newbury, several nieces and nephews and his very dear friends, Jim and Jilda Patten of Seabrook, NH.
Born on January 1, 1935 in Lowell, Don’s younger years were spent growing up in Newburyport and Plum Island where his parents, Al and Nora Gladu, owned and operated Nora’s Grill at Plum Island Point. After graduating from Newburyport High School in 1953, Don served in the US Army and in Korea Active Duty 1954-1957 and served in the reserves until his honorable discharge in 1962. Upon his return, he met the love of his life and they were married on October 27, 1957. Together in 1968, Donald and Kathleen opened Kathy’s Restaurant located at the Traffic Circle in Newburyport until their retirement in 1981. Don’s coleslaw, fried clams and onion rings were always a favorite at the many family gatherings they hosted from the home they shared for 33 years on Hay Street. Don was an outdoors man and an avid fisherman. After his retirement he had a lobster boat custom built in Maine and he moored the “K-sea” for a period of years in the Parker River and would always share his catch. He spent many hours with his three grandsons teaching them to fish and enjoy the outdoors. He loved feeding the birds and always was on the lookout for different migrating birds each year. He enjoyed reading, crossword puzzles and playing cards. He also enjoyed sports and loved to watch NASCAR racing. Don was a member of the Knights of Columbus, BPOE Newburyport Elks, Essex County Sportsman’s Association, Regent Park Villas I Board Member and served as a Clam Commissioner for the Town of Newbury for several years.