Donald K. "Don" Vaupel, 88, of Havre, long-time area businessman and pharmacist, died of natural causes Monday, Aug. 15, 2005, at Northern Montana Hospital.
Crema-tion has taken place. At the request of Don and the family, there will be no funeral service, but friends and acquaintances are invited to the Mediterra--
nean Room Vineyard at the Duck Inn in Havre for an informal gathering from 2 to 5 p.m. Saturday. All who knew him are encouraged to stop by and celebrate a wonderful life.
Don was born in Malta on April 19, 1917. He graduated from Saco High School in 1934 and enrolled at the University of Montana School of Pharmacy that fall.
Don took his bachelor's degree in June of 1938, the same month he took Ramona Kathleen Rognas of Saco to be his bride. Ramona preceded him in death.
In 1974, Don married Gabriele Poedder.
His long career in business and pharmacy began with employment at Cahalan's Drug in Great Falls in 1938. Then came short stints with the Baxter Hotel Pharmacy in Bozeman and the Hall Drug in Glasgow. In November 1941, he arrived in Havre and went to work for the Owl Drug Co. In 1948, he and a small group of investors purchased Clark's Pharmacy on Third Avenue and renamed it Don's Medical Pharmacy. In operation for nearly 50 years, the store served the community occupying three separate locations in the same block. At the height of his business career, he owned 16 drug stores in various locations throughout Montana, most of them named Western Drug.
In 1976, Don, Jim Sleeter and another group of investors purchased the former Buttrey Department Store in downtown Havre and converted it into the Atrium Shopping Mall.
Described by his family as a "workaholic," Don had few hobbies. He enjoyed his home just outside Havre, his flowers, and his family. He was also known around town as an avid New York Yankees fan, a fair poker player and a great storyteller.
Survivors include his son, Dean of Powell, Wyo.; daughter Melodee (Max) Dahl of Gig Harbor, Wash.; wife, Gabriele of Havre; brother, Ross Robinson of Billings; four grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be sent to the Havre Public Schools Education Foundation or to the MSU-Northern Foundation.