Donald Pilote

Obituary of Donald L Pilote

Donald L. Pilote passed away on March 18, 2023, at the age of 78.  Don was born in Peabody and raised in Danvers.  He was one of six children born to the late Frank and Lois Pilote.  Don was a graduate of North Bennet Street Trade School in Boston where he studied carpentry and cabinet making.

While out hang gliding, he met his future wife, Ruth Wagner, who had just moved to Massachusetts.   They married in 1979 and lived in Stoneham before moving to Burlington in 1982.  At the end of his career, Don worked with chemists in Research & Development of medical grade plastics for the Lubrizol Corporation in Wilmington. Other positions included kitchen restorations, cabinet making and Porter Cable tool repairs.

Don was known to be mechanically inclined.  He was a source of guidance for his sons.  They knew he could fix just about anything from watches to automobiles and everything in between.  His neighbors also learned to appreciate his skills and would often rely on him for whatever might need repair. His family’s saying was, if Don can’t fix it no one can.

Don was a quiet, low-key man, who enjoyed his family and had many interests.  When his sons, Scott and Mark played youth sports, Don stepped up to coached them in hockey; he enjoyed teaching them many of the skills he had learned throughout his life. 

Don was a true daredevil.  He loved to ski, as a racer, was part of the Mount Washington ski rescue team, and skied in several European countries.  He was brave and confident enough to ski down Mt Washington’s Tuckerman’s Ravine, and narrowly avoided an avalanche.  He went hang gliding in NH and from Mt Kearsarge, despite once getting stuck in a tree.  Don earned his black belt in Karate and was a proud Eagle Scout.  He loved playing golf and was member of the Patriot Country Club’s golf league. 

Don loved nature.  He enjoyed hiking and camping. As a child he spent summers on family owned property in Holderness, NH. Later, he helped build a log cabin on the property which the family is still enjoying today.  Don and Ruth enjoyed traveling in the United States and Europe.  The drove cross-country several times, visiting Don’s family in Montana and Denver.  They travelled throughout Europe including visits to England, Switzerland, Germany, Spain, France and Italy. 

Don was the beloved husband of Ruth (Wagner). He was the loving father of Scott Pilote & his wife Susan Tuyen-Pilote of Burlington and Mark Pilote of Laconia, NH.  Proud grandfather of Jameson & Fiona Pilote.  Brother of Marcia Colella of Peabody, Bill & his wife Maureen Woodell-Pilote of North Reading, Dave of Paris France, Marilyn of Denver and the late Robert Pilote.  Don was also survived by many nieces and nephews.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations, in Don’s name may be made to Care Dimensions Hospice at giving to Care Dimensions

Private funeral services will be held under the direction of the Sullivan Funeral Home, 43 Winn St, Burlington, MA

For on-line guestbook and memorial video, see


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