ForeverMissed
Beloved Family and Friends,

This memorial website was created in memory of our loved one, Donald DeFreitas, 77 years old, born on December 3, 1943, and went to be with the Lord on February 15, 2021. We will remember him forever.

Please join us here on this website to contribute your stories, tributes, and photographs of Don, so we can all connect around this abundance. We invite you to share liberally--no need for formality. Your anecdotes, humor and anything you wish to say about Don are all welcome.

*In order to contribute to this site you will have to enter an email and create a password. Or you can login through Facebook.
Posted by Will Wright on February 21, 2021
Don was a wonderful person. He was a family man and had a beautiful character. I will remember his stories, his wisdom, and his compassion. I always enjoyed sitting down to eat with him and his family and listening to his stories. He had many!

He always tried to get me to eat more and fatten me up! Don, you will be happy to know that many years later, I am fattened up!

My heart goes out to his family. You will be greatly missed, Don.

Posted by Noel DeFreitas on February 21, 2021
Uncle Don was a very special uncle to me. From my early memories those 2 timetables that drove me crazy. If anyone that knew Uncle Don knows he love to tell jokes, the one I always remember was his bolo joke he must've told me that joke 100 times. Also was a very funny story he told me about his son Derek losing his first girlfried and a balloon, that one was told to me the last time I visit him in Florida. One of the things that I admire about Uncle Don coming from a big family that he was the one to keep the communication between his brothers and sisters. Uncle Don might be a big loss in my heart but not forgotten.
Posted by Grace Matthews on February 21, 2021
Donald De Freitas is free of pain and suffering. May he Rest In Peace.

Don was one of my younger brothers. Since I was one of the lazy ones in the family, my job was to take care of the younger ones, and so I always took care of Don growing up. When I relocated to Illinois in 1969, Don was in Boston with another brother. He asked me if he could come and stay with my husband and I in Illinois, and we both agreed. He settled in quickly and very soon found a job, shortly thereafter he found Susan.

They got married and had two lovely kids .

My family decided to relocate to Miami in 1977 as the inclement weather was too much for me.

But Don and I were always very close; we told “Old Jokes” and reminisced about lots of family adventures. Don mostly embellished his which I knew, but it always cracked me up.

Don will be missed by me and my whole family. I feel lucky that both Camille and I saw him on FaceTime the day before he passed. He barely could say "Hi" and "Bye" at that point.

He will live in our hearts and memory forever.
May he Rest In Peace.
Posted by Marlene Defreitas on February 20, 2021
I remember when Uncle Don came to live with us in Boston back in the 70"s. He used to drill the timetables in our heads.  I thought he was just punishing us, but in one of our three hours conversations, he told me that his mom did the same to him.  He wanted us to be timetable savvy. 

He shared a lot of funny stories of people with either a funny name or something they did that was entertaining to him. I think those stories and jokes kept him with an active sense of humor!   Uncle Don was a strong and fearless person with a little bit of jep (stinging) blood.  RIP
Posted by Tricia De Freitas on February 20, 2021
Uncle Don was a great Uncle. I remember him sharing his childhood memories with me, how much fun he and his brothers had. I remember every Christmas we would sure to get a postcard from him and Aunty Susan. I am glad we got to meet him a few years ago, which we will always remember. Thank you Uncle Don for being the person you are, you will surely be missed...

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Recent Tributes
Posted by Will Wright on February 21, 2021
Don was a wonderful person. He was a family man and had a beautiful character. I will remember his stories, his wisdom, and his compassion. I always enjoyed sitting down to eat with him and his family and listening to his stories. He had many!

He always tried to get me to eat more and fatten me up! Don, you will be happy to know that many years later, I am fattened up!

My heart goes out to his family. You will be greatly missed, Don.

Posted by Noel DeFreitas on February 21, 2021
Uncle Don was a very special uncle to me. From my early memories those 2 timetables that drove me crazy. If anyone that knew Uncle Don knows he love to tell jokes, the one I always remember was his bolo joke he must've told me that joke 100 times. Also was a very funny story he told me about his son Derek losing his first girlfried and a balloon, that one was told to me the last time I visit him in Florida. One of the things that I admire about Uncle Don coming from a big family that he was the one to keep the communication between his brothers and sisters. Uncle Don might be a big loss in my heart but not forgotten.
Posted by Grace Matthews on February 21, 2021
Donald De Freitas is free of pain and suffering. May he Rest In Peace.

Don was one of my younger brothers. Since I was one of the lazy ones in the family, my job was to take care of the younger ones, and so I always took care of Don growing up. When I relocated to Illinois in 1969, Don was in Boston with another brother. He asked me if he could come and stay with my husband and I in Illinois, and we both agreed. He settled in quickly and very soon found a job, shortly thereafter he found Susan.

They got married and had two lovely kids .

My family decided to relocate to Miami in 1977 as the inclement weather was too much for me.

But Don and I were always very close; we told “Old Jokes” and reminisced about lots of family adventures. Don mostly embellished his which I knew, but it always cracked me up.

Don will be missed by me and my whole family. I feel lucky that both Camille and I saw him on FaceTime the day before he passed. He barely could say "Hi" and "Bye" at that point.

He will live in our hearts and memory forever.
May he Rest In Peace.
his Life

Reflections on Don’s life, by Don’s daughter Angela Olson

As I reflect on who my dad was and the profound impact he had on my life, I am overwhelmed with gratitude.

1.  I’m grateful for his humor.

I will always remember him and his sense of humor; he could always make me smile. Not everyone got his jokes, but I did.  This past Christmas, I actually tried to convince him to record his jokes and funny stories.  I sent him a recorder and wrote down a list of 50 of my favorites— I knew that one day soon, I’d cherish being able to still hear his voice, that laugh.

2.  I’m grateful that he worked so hard to provide for our family.

I remember as a child, when we would all sit down for dinner, the phone would ring and dad would have to leave for work.  Or when there was a blizzard or a freeze or it was 2am in the morning, and no one in their right mind would want to step foot outside, Dad would be out the door if there was a call.  I watched my dad work so hard so that he could send my brother and I to a private school; he wanted us to receive the very best Christian education.  Through his grit, his tenacity, his strength, and Mom spoiling us, I was beyond blessed with everything I could ever wish for as a child and even into my adult life.  I was blessed, and I’m grateful for the head start in life Dad and Mom worked so hard to provide.

3.  I’m grateful that he always made time.

Dad was someone I could always count on to make time for me whenever I asked, whether to play a game or even just talk.  If he was working, he’d make sure to take the time out when he was not.  If he wasn’t working, he was generous with his time and we had so much fun playing cards, building things, or doing projects.  Some of my favorite time spent with him was when we just sat around and talked.  I learned so much from him both directly and indirectly.  Even if we didn’t agree on something or we had different viewpoints, I always felt like I gained valuable perspective.

4.  I’m grateful that he believed in me.

Dad had high expectations of me; he believed in me, and he drove me to be my best at all times.  “If you’re going to do something, do it right,” he used to say.  He taught me to take great pride in my work, and to always make sure that I gave my stamp of approval on anything and everything before attaching my name to it.  He taught me that my name and my word counted for something, that they were important.  That my thoughts, my voice, my words, my actions and my works were meaningful and a reflection of my character.  He taught me to always be in competition with myself, to pay no attention to what others were doing, to value being well respected over being well liked.  He taught me from a young age to be inspired and relentless, to be a force to be reckoned with and to beholden to no limitations; “you can be anything, you can do anything in life Angie, as long as you put your mind to it and work hard for it.” 

5.  I’m grateful my Dad loved the Lord.

I love my dad and the way he studied the Bible; he was a guiding light in my faith.  He loved God his whole life.  I still smile each time I think about him recalling the day his sister first told him the story of Jesus Christ and how it moved him at such a young age.  If I ever had a faith based question, a question of morality, confusion or conflict spiritually, my Dad could always help me understand, find peace. 

6.  I’m grateful for his love of animals.

Dad was a tough guy, but he had the biggest heart.  It was apparent in the way he babied and took such loving care of animals.  He was a cat person for sure; he loved his kitties.  One time when I was about 12 yrs old and rescuing strays, we ended up with 13 cats in our house while I tried to get them adopted.  Ha!  13 cats!  Don’t know how I ever got away with that, but it must have had something to do with what a big softy dad was for animals.  My father rescued a squirrel once, actually twice.  While he lived in Florida, he found a baby squirrel that had fallen out of a tree.  Instead of walking away, he picked it up and built a cage and fed it with an eye dropper until it grew big enough to fend for itself.  He used to pet it, rub its belly, feed and play with that squirrel until it was time to let it go.  

7.  I’m grateful for my Dad’s love.

There is so much more I could say.  He was so many things. I don’t know that I could possibly put into words all that my dad meant to me.  How do you explain how he was the type of man who provided a sense of security and protection, a type of invisible safety net around you at all times just because he was your father and he loved you?  That because of who he was, you felt like somebody, somebody important, someone  invaluable, someone worthy of greatness. That was who my father was to me; he was my hero.

Dad, thank you for giving me a strength, a courage, a faith, a power, a confidence, and a self-respect that I can only ever hope to pass on to my daughters. I am forever grateful, and I love you so much.  Rest in peace daddy.
Recent stories

Loving Friend ,Father in Law of Kurt, Family

Shared by Debbie Olson on February 22, 2021
Don was our son Kurt’s father-in-law. Don was a joy to be around, and his smile, sense of humor, and sense of family were amazing. He always brought his wonderful stories to life. We video chatted to keep up with our families and grandchildren. He even video chatted with Kurt’s Grandpa Olson. 
The first time we met was for Kurt and Angie's surprise engagement.  Kris and I were sitting in the lobby at the hotel in Crystal River, FL. This very handsome and distinguished couple walked past—the gentleman in a suit with his elegant wife on his arm. They had smiles from ear to ear. Kurt met them, and he brought them back to make introductions. Angie's mother, Susan, went to meet Angie, and they joined us after a bit. We waited with Kurt and Don so Kurt could propose. 
We sat at the table talking and getting to know each other when Kurt presented a stuffed goat to Don for Angie’s hand in marriage. It was a fun joke between Don and Kurt. Kurt had called Don ahead of time and asked for Angie’s hand in marriage with a plan to get us all together as a surprise. Don told Kurt he must give him ten goats to marry Angie. They instantly became family, and both families had an amazing time getting to know each other at the wedding. 
You could see the pride Don had for his daughter. He gave a heartfelt toast, and it was a joy to see the father-daughter dance and him dancing with his granddaughter.
Each holiday and joyous occasion we spent together seemed to keep Don going through his health challenges. The love of family stood out most; the pride in his wife and children and the love he had for his four granddaughters. We loved to listen to his stories coming to the US from Trinidad, the jobs and his travels through the US, and how he met Susan. He had an amazing life and fought a tough fight. Now he is at peace. We are thankful to have had him in our lives.

Father-n-law

Shared by Kurt Olson on February 21, 2021
I met my wife Angela 8 years ago.  She was unlike any girl I had ever met. She was strong mentally and physically and had principles based in faith.  She had a mischievous sense of humor, was easy to talk to about anything, and was fearless to explore all the world had to offer.  She was inspiring to the people in her life.  Ang had such a confidence and belief in herself.  She valued her family and all the same things I valued.  It didn't even take a full year of dating before I proposed.  She is my best friend and the love of my life.  As our relationship progressed I got to spend more time with my future Father-n-law and got a clear understanding of how Ang became the person she is.  Ang always spoke so highly of her dad.  As I got to know Don I recognized he was strong mentally and physically.   He had principles rooted in faith, a mischievous sense of humor; he was easy to talk to and told stories of being fearless in his youth.  He had a clear confidence and belief in self.  So many of the qualities I love and admire in my wife she clearly got from Don.  So I can say with certainty I loved and respected my Father-n-law.  

I really enjoyed talking to Don.  He would entertain any conversation or philosophical debate.  He loved to talk sports.  We would talk about Lebron vs MJ, the Bears, or whatever storyline was big in the NFL or NBA.  I also can't recall a time I talked to Don that I didn't end up laughing at some point.  Don's jokes were all as unique as he was.  Some of my favorites were about molasses, Bahamian flu, or a retort about why he didn't have any hair.  I swear you could have made a movie about Don's life story.  I enjoyed hearing about him growing up as a boy in Trinidad and his experiences as a policeman.  Add to that, his tales from when he was a prison guard in the Bahamas. He was a character, when I asked him why he made the decision to come to America, his answer was quote, "because they had food". 

I can honestly say I feel very blessed I got to know the man who helped raise my wife.  Love you and miss you Papa Don.

My First Memory of Don

Shared by Will Wright on February 21, 2021
My earliest memory of Don was when I was just a child. It was summertime in Illinois and while at the local playground I got into a scuffle with another boy my age. After the scuffle, the boy left the playground and I continued to play at the top of the hot metal slide.

Soon I saw the boy return, this time with his father, Don. I remember being so nervous when both father and son stood at the bottom of the slide. Don only said one thing, "Come down and shake hands." I'll never forget that moment. (Don was wearing blue jeans and a white teeshirt if you want to know!)

Reluctantly, I skidded down the slide and approached his son, Derek.

We shook hands.

What I didn't realize at the time is that Don gave me a gift of a lifetime. Not only did I have the pleasure of spending time with and learning from Don over the years, but he also gave me the two best friends I could ever ask for. He changed my life profoundly and enriched it for the better.

I could never repay him. But he will live on in my memory and I will miss him dearly. My sincere condolences and heart go out to his wife Susan and children, Derek and Angie.