Donald Sleeper

Obituary of Donald Sleeper

Attorney Donald Nellson Sleeper, Jr., who dedicated his life to his country, community, and family, died peacefully in his sleep on Thursday July 17, 2009 in the home of his daughter and son-in-law Janet and Jim Chambers in Leominster, Massachusetts. Donald N. Sleeper, Jr., was born May 1, 1927 to Donald N. Sleeper and Alsace Crosbie Sleeper in Medford, Massachusetts. He grew up and was educated in Medford and would spend his summers at his parents’ cottage in Burlington, MA. Attorney Sleeper earned his Eagle Scout badge from the Boy Scouts at the age of 16; he was the Cadet Batallion Commander of the High School Cadet Battalion of Medford High School. He went into the service by joining the Aviation Cadet Reserve in October of 1944. He was called to active duty on July 9, 1945. He served in the Army Air Corps during World War II and was recalled to active duty by the Air Force during the Korean War. He was in the active reserves between the two wars. He ultimately resigned his commission in 1962. Attorney Sleeper was active in Burlington’s town government, community, and public safety during his 40+years living in the community. He served as Moderator during the years of 1957, 1958, and 1968. He was also a member of the Town of Burlington Board of Selectmen from 1969 to 1972. He was a volunteer firefighter for the Town of Burlington as well as a Precinct Warden for the Town. He was proud to have served his community and to have helped lay the foundation for Burlington’s future growth. Attorney Sleeper did his college undergraduate work at Northeastern University. He attended Boston College Law School and was admitted to practice in October of 1956 after two tours of active service in the military. He was a practicing attorney for 53 years. He was the third generation attorney (following his father Donald Sr. and his grandfather Fred) of Sleeper and Sleeper, Attorneys at Law originally in Medford and then in Burlington. He first practiced law with his father and then later with his daughter Leslie, the fourth generation Sleeper lawyer. After his retirement, Attorney Sleeper was Of Counsel to the Law Office of Leslie S. Madge in Acton. He had a great love for the law and was a recognized expert in municipal and real estate law. Attorney Sleeper was deeply involved for many years in his religious community, serving as Lector and Extraordinary Minister at St. Margaret’s Church in Burlington and St. Cecilia’s Church in Wolfeboro, NH. He also served on the Board of Director’s of Austin Preparatory School in Reading, MA and the Hillside Cambridge Cooperative Bank in Medford, MA. < Attorney Sleeper was a devoted and loving husband to his wife Theresa, who passed away in 1999. He was the caring and supportive father of Leslie Sleeper Madge & her late husband Bradley J. of Littleton, MA; Frederick M. Sleeper, Sr. & his wife Beverly of Shirley, MA; Susan Sleeper Willey & her husband Mark of Magnolia, TX; Janet Sleeper Chambers & her husband Jim of Leominster, MA; Virginia Sleeper McLeman & her husband Scott of Auburn, NH, and Barbara E. (Sleeper) Sargent of Leominster, MA. He was the brother of the late Rev. James C. Sleeper. He was the proud grandfather of Jennifer Arakelian, Michelle Watson, Danielle Hammack, Brian Madge, Rick (Frederick, Jr.) Sleeper, Kathy Madge, Racheal (Willey) White, Nick Sargent, Greg Willey, Colleen Chambers and Sara McLeman and eight great grandchildren. He also leaves behind his beloved dog Tux. He was a role model for children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren, stressing the importance of family, hard work, respect for others, faith, and community involvement. He will be lovingly remembered. Visiting hours Monday, July 20 from 4-7 p.m. at the Edward V. Sullivan Funeral Home, 43 Winn St. BURLINGTON (exit 34 off Rt. 128, Woburn side). Mass of Christian Burial on Tuesday, July 21 in St. Margaret’s Church, 111 Winn St., Burlington at 10 a.m. Interment in Chestnut Hill Cemetery, Burlington. Donations in lieu of flowers may be made to the Friends of the Marion Tavern, c/o Town Hall, 29 Center St., Burlington, MA 01803.
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