Lt. Col. Donald Hamilton Sayce died peacefully at home on May 14, 2015, in Hampstead at the age of 85.
He was born on Dec. 22, 1929, in West Roxbury, Massachusetts, son of the late George and Sylvia Sayce. During his childhood in Boston, he worked as a bat boy for the Boston Red Sox, made extra pocket money by playing the trumpet and was a standout pitcher on his high school baseball team.
Donald is survived by his loving wife of 60 years, Damaris Bray Sayce, of Hampstead; six children; nine grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren. His children include Steven Sayce, of Los Angeles; Donna Sayce Troy and son-in-law, Gino Troy, of Austin, Texas; John Sayce and daughter-in-law, Clare Sayce, of Austin, Texas; Kurt Sayce and daughter-in-law, Vickie Sayce, of Fairfax, Virginia; Karl Sayce and daughter-in-law, Cindy Sayce, of Pinehurst; and Debbie Sayce Elliott and son-in-law, John Elliott, of Kure Beach. His grandchildren include Alan Sayce, of Los Angeles; Jennifer Troy Newman, Gino Troy III and Cindy Troy, of Austin, Texas; Sean Sayce, of Austin, Texas; Whitney Sayce and Spencer Sayce, of Washington; and Katie Sayce and Sarah Sayce, of Pinehurst. His great-grandchildren include Liam Newman and Ryan Newman, of Austin, Texas.
Donald enjoyed a 20-year career in the U.S. Marine Corps and is a veteran of the Vietnam War. He retired from the Marine Corps in 1977 as a lieutenant colonel. Following his military career, he earned an education specialist degree from East Carolina University and enjoyed a 20-year career as a principal at Belhaven High School in Belhaven and Snowden Elementary, in Aurora. He graduated from Villanova University in 1953 with a Bachelor of Science degree in mathematics.
Throughout his military career, Donald and his family lived in Camp Lejeune; Edgewater Park, New Jersey; College Park, Maryland; Monterey, California; Greenville; and Washington. Upon retirement, Don and Damaris moved to Hampstead where they enjoyed a happy life together that included many trips throughout the United State and Europe. They were longtime members of All Saints Catholic Church of Hampstead and Don was a third degree member of the Knights of Columbus and founding member of the All Saints chapter.
His six children remember him as a man who never lost his Boston accent or military love of discipline and order, but was always ready with a goofy joke or a proud story of his children’s accomplishments.
A wake will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday, May 21, 2015, at Andrews Mortuary in Hampstead. At 7 p.m. that evening, the Knights of Columbus of All Saints Catholic Church will host a recitation of the rosary. A funeral mass is scheduled for 11 a.m. Friday, May 22, 2015, at All Saints Catholic Church in Hampstead, with the interment to follow at Sea Lawn Cemetery in Hampstead. Father Terry Collins will officiate the mass.
In lieu of flowers, please send donations to the Edmundite Food Kitchen, 1428 Broad St., Selma, AL 36701.
The family would like to thank Kim Judge of Pender Adult Services for her care and dedication and the entire staff at Sawmill Grill in Hampstead for their daily cheer and friendship.
Please leave online condolences for the family at Andrews Mortuary.
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