Marblehead — Donald Robert Humphreys was born in Swampscott, Mass. on March 20, 1923, to Francis Henry Humphreys and Ethel Louise ( Berry ) Humphreys. Don, as he was called, graduated with the Swampscott High School, Class of 1940. On Dec. 8, 1941, one day after the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor, Don signed up for the U.S. Marine Corps. He reported for duty in January, was trained as an aircraft mechanic, and was sent to the South Pacific Theater, spending six months on Guadalcanal in the Solomon Islands before moving to other tactical assignments. He returned to the states in May, 1944, as a Master Sargent, and married Ruth Treat of Marblehead, and began their married life together at the Marine Air Station, El Toro, Calif. Don was transferred to Navy Flight Training in January, 1945, and had just earned his pilots wings when the war ended.
Don stayed in aviation, first as a mechanic, then as a pilot for the next 20 years, flying for MIT Flight Research, Northeast Airlines, Seabrook Farms Frozen Food Corp., the U.S. Government, California Eastern Airlines, and selling Cessna aircraft. He was inducted into the pilots prestigious Quiet Birdmen Club, and became the second most senior member of the Boston Hanger. He and Ruth spent 20 years living in Topsfield, Mass., while their children went to school, then moved to Marblehead, where Don left flying and joined United Shoe Machinery Corp., ending his career there as Marketing Manager of the Harmonic Drive Division, to which he left eight patents issued for various applications submitted by him. Don then invented a new way to shape and balance hockey skates, was issued the first of several patents, and started his own company, Custom Radius Corporation, which he ran until retirement. Custom Radius Corporation was the largest designer, Manufacturer, and purveyor of ice skate care and equipment in the country. During all these years, Don was also a contract employee, both overt and covert, of a specialized agency of the U.S. Government and received two awards for his service.