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Don Vetter, Former Herndon Observer Publisher, 87

Don Vetter, former Herndon resident and Herndon Observer publisher, passed away at 87.


Donald Vetter, 87, of Salem, N.H., and previously of Herndon died peacefully surrounded by his loving children on Feb. 17, 2012 at Greystone Farm at Salem after a lengthy illness. He was predeceased by his wife of 52 years Peggy (Downey) Vetter.

A veteran of World War II, Mr. Vetter served with the Army Air Corps as a weather observer in North Africa and Iran. After the war he returned to marry his high school sweetheart and graduate from college with a degree in business and began a management career with Pan American World Airways (Pan Am).

Mr. Vetter and his wife then raised their family in Pan Am assignments that spanned the globe. He established the airport in Guatemala City, where they lived during the 1954 revolution, and then moved to assignments in Miami, Puerto Rico, and Jamaica within Pan Am’s Latin American Division over the next 20 years.

Mr. Vetter and his family then moved to Agana, Guam, where he was airport manager during the Vietnam War when Guam served as a critical gateway for military cargo and soldier transport. They traveled extensively throughout Asia. He ended his 30-year career with Pan Am as cargo manager at Dulles International Airport. 

After retirement he was initially publisher of The Herndon Observer newspaper, where his wife, Peggy, was editor and founder. The two published the weekly Herndon Observer for almost 20 years. He also worked as a travel agent with VIP Travel in Herndon and was active in the Herndon Rotary Club.

Mr. Vetter was an assisted living resident for almost four years at Greystone Farm in Salem, where he was loved, admired, and respected for his dry wit and sweet disposition.  The heartfelt comfort he received from the staff of Greystone and other caregivers during his final weeks is appreciated by his family more than words can express.

He is survived by his son Michael and his wife Mary of Salem; son John Vetter and his wife Cindy of Pflugerville, Texas; daughter Gale Grosso and her husband Robert of Port Deposit, Md.; granddaughter Terra Vetter of Brooklyn, N.Y.; grandson John Vetter and his wife Christy of Fritch, Texas; and great-grandson Ayden, also of Fritch, Texas. 

A visitation and memorial service will be at Adams-Green Funeral Home in Herndon on Friday, Feb. 24 from 4 to 6 p.m. with a brief memorial service in the chapel at 6.  Burial will be private on Feb. 25 in Herndon’s Chestnut Grove Cemetery. Donations may be sent to the Greystone Farm Resident Council Associate Gift Fund, 242 Main St., Salem, NH 03079 or the American Parkinson Disease Association (APDA) 135 Parkinson Avenue, Staten Island, New York 10305.

Leah M. Kosin February 21, 2012 at 06:27 PM
Such sad news. Although I never met the couple in person I am happy to say that I was employed by The Observer beginning in 2005. I heard about the Vetter's all the time :)
Carol Bruce February 21, 2012 at 10:34 PM
Peggy and Don were two of the nicest people you could possibly meet. We lost Peggy far too soon, and sorry to hear of Don's passing last Friday.
Michael Vetter February 28, 2012 at 07:39 PM
Our thanks to all who attended Dad's memorial service on February 24th at the Adams-Green Funeral Home. Our family was blessed with his sense of adventure and love for people around the world. Caring for him during the past few years was a privilege. Mike Vetter

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