Donley (Don) R. Taft of South Kingstown RI passed away on January 7th 2021. He is survived by Judith A. (Pouliot) Taft, the love of his life and wife of 53 years.
Don was born in 1934 in South County Hospital to Herbert F. Taft and Dorothy C. (Coman) Taft. He lived in South County his entire life and considered himself a true “Swamp Yankee”. He grew up playing baseball with his late brother Edward (Ted) Taft and shared his love of reading and politics with his late brother Dale Taft.
Don graduated from South Kingstown High Schools in 1952. In school Don was noted for being a great athlete. He played varsity baseball and basketball. His senior yearbook noted that he was always well dressed.
After one semester at URI, Don realized he was not quite ready for college. He decided to join the US Marine Corps which allowed him to travel the world. Don often spoke fondly of his time in the Marines. He loved to retell stories of his time in Japan and his experiences during NATO operations in Southern Europe. After three years of service, Don headed back to URI to complete a degree in Political Science. While at URI Don was a Fraternity brother at Theta Chi, ran cross country and played baseball.
After college, Don continued to play ball for local teams including Giro’s.
Don’s first job out of college was as a Business Manager for the town of South Kingstown. In 1972 Don was hired to work for the Rhode Island State Department of Education where he worked for over 25 years. He was responsible for collecting and preparing statistics to insure proper funding for school districts across the state. After retirement, Don kept busy by working as a landscaper for his life-long friend Curtis Lewis. He also delivered flowers for Kenyon Ave Florist.
Besides his wife, Donley is survived by his two children Curtis B. Taft and Sara D. (Taft) Ladas, his son-in-law Andreas G. Ladas and his two grandchildren Noah G. Ladas and Emma D. Ladas as well as many nieces and nephews.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at Christ the King Church on Old North Road in Kingston, RI on Tuesday, January 19th at 10:30 AM. Those unable to attend the mass due to COVID may live stream the services. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to South County Hospital on 100 Kenyon Ave, Wakefield, RI 02879. For guest book and condolences, averystortifuneralhome.com.