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In Memoriam: Class of '54 Alumnus Don Vecchio Remembered for His Longstanding Pharmacy Expertise

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Donald A. Vecchio  “Don” died February 8, 2023, a few months short of his 91st birthday. Don was a man of faith who loved life and lived it to the fullest.  He was the only child of Dominic and Mary Vecchio, raised in North Denver where he graduated from North High School. Don received his pharmacy degree at CU Boulder, followed by four years of service in the Army. 

Don Vecchio 54 2
Don Vecchio, BS Pharmacy '54

Don walked into the Cottrell’s store in Denver and met a cute employee, Nellie Lines and in less than a year, she became his wife. They were married for 54 wonderful years and raised three remarkable daughters. Don was a longtime pharmacist, an often awarded expert in his field. He owned Don’s Pharmacy in Wheat Ridge and served as the Broncos' pharmacist. He expertly counseled customers on appropriate medicine use and interactions and was one of the few druggists in the area who did compounding with medications, plus medical fittings, and diabetes education. Don led a teenage drug team visiting schools warning of the dangers of abusing drugs. He spoke out about how marijuana is harmful to young minds. He mentored pharmacy students. Later in life, he specialized in palliative care at Denver Hospice and then helped launch the hospice at Lutheran Medical Center which is now Collier Hospice, working there into his mid-80s. Don was active in his church, Kiwanis, and other professional organizations and in 1977 was named Arvada’s Man of the Year.  He also served others as a Stephens minister.

He especially loved sharing time with family and trips to the family cabin in the mountains, Hawaii, Florida, Germany, and Holland. Everyone loved feasting on his delicious Italian cuisine that his Mom taught him to cook so well. In his later years, he loved being with his girlfriend Shelley Miller.

Heart disease and dementia took their toll but Don strove to fulfill his purpose to serve others until the end. His family is grateful for all the visits and great care he received.

His wife preceded him in death, and he’s survived by his daughters and their husbands Mary Green (Jay) Nellie Hoffacker (Doug) and Donna Wilkinson (Brian), his girlfriend Shelley Miller, grandchildren Nellie Jo Wiley (Jeff) Melanie Schoonover (James), Dominic Green (Michael Meriwether) Nathan Green (Paul Peters), stepgrandchildren Jonathan Wilkinson and Mary Rigler (Cody)and great-grandchildren Caleb, Ellie, J.D., Nellie Marie, Joanna and Selene, who all brought him such joy.

Read full obituary here



Topics: Alumni