Mr. Albano was born and schooled in Springfield, MA. He was the father of Marc Albano and his wife Brandy, and Leslie Arre-Albano, all of Brattleboro, and grandfather of Joey Maillett, Maria Carfora, and Gianna Arre. He was the stepfather of Ben Joyce and Kevin Joyce, their wives Sieglinde and Mary Joyce, and was the step-grandfather of Aidin and Chloe Joyce, of Wilmington.
Mr. Albano was the brother of Janice LaPlante and her husband Paul, of Wilbraham, MA, and uncle of their children, Tony, Mike, Todd, and Traci. His parents, Frederick and Eleanor Albano, preceded him in death.
Mr. Albano had an interesting and varied career during his life. He graduated from Classical High School in Springfield, MA, in 1957 and Springfield College in 1962. Although an English major in college, he audited classes at Andover-Newton Theology College and was licensed to preach in the Methodist Church and was a popular preacher throughout the eastern United States during his college years. While in college he served as director of youth work at Agawam Baptist Church, Director of Christian education at West Springfield’s First Congregational Church on the Green, and at Liberty Methodist Church.
In his second week of college, Mr. Albano was asked to star in the college’s production of “The Cocktail Party” and, according to him, was too frightened and naive to say “no.” He said “yes” and began a career in the theater and was featured in 12 productions of the college’s Attic Players. During the summers he took on professional roles, acting in summer stock and performing TV voiceovers.
Mr. Albano also worked with a small cadre of Northeastern businessmen.
Mr. Albano was editor-in-chief of The Student, the college’s student newspaper, and did a stint as a reporter for the Daily Hampshire Gazette, of Northampton, MA.
Mr. Albano toured the United States in the feature role of Christ in the American version of the Oberammergau Passion Play and worked in a professional production and financial role in the theater, eventually landing in New York.
Mr. Albano soon took a left turn and began teaching salesmen the tools of an actor in order to increase their effectiveness. He eventually became a senior executive with GALC Inc., then the largest land developer in the nation and the developers of Cape Coral, FL, and Rio Rico, AZ.
His success in developing the effectiveness of salesmen led him to be appointed president of Vermont Land Corporation with the goal to develop out their 18,000 Vermont acres and by special arrangement a 50,000-acre tract in the Adirondacks. In his first year as president, after proposing a 3,000-lot Dover Hill subdivision, Vermont Gov. Deane Davis caused the controversial Act 250 land use law to be enacted. Norm Runnion, editor of the Brattleboro Reformer, tagged Albano as the “Godfather of Act 250.” Mr. Albano took the position that the 10 regulations were logical and already were ingrained in all large real estate developments, but the potential bureaucracy of governing and administrating the regulations would soon become excessive.
Mr. Albano created the land and permit packages as well as the sales and marketing packages for Greenspring Townhomes, Snow Mountain Village, Snowtree Condominiums, and the Dover Hills subdivision. His marketing campaign for the land subdivision, “Get a lot while you are young,” was well known throughout the valley.
In the early 1970s, Mr. Albano studied law under attorney Tom Politano, completing his course of study in 1976.
Mr. Albano was a founding member of the Mount Snow Valley Chamber of Commerce and the recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award. He also received the Citizenship Award given by the American Legion.
His real estate career also included the purchasing and sale of inns and lodges in New Hampshire and Vermont including the Red Cricket Lodge in Dover, where he launched a senior program of 48 buses per summer for three- to four-day vacations and winter weekend buses of singles.
With newspaper “ink” in his blood, Mr. Albano purchased and published The Deerfield Valley News for 14 years, growing it from four pages to 24 before selling it in 1991.
In 1986 Don, his wife Sheila, and mutual friend Missey Faas-Sackett launched SnowResorts, uniquely specializing in selling both new and used condominiums and SnowResorts Hospitality Group, focusing on renting and managing condominiums and townhouses. Remembering the “senior” business early in their career, SnowResorts created a two-month resort experience of fun activities for the seniors spending summer in the valley.
Mr. Albano loved his town. He served as a member and chairman of the Dover Planning Commission, member and chairman of the Dover Selectboard, and as a member and chairman of North Branch Fire District #1. Mr. Albano served on the executive commission of the Windham Regional Commission; as vice chair of the Vermont State Board of Libraries; on the board of the Deerfield Valley Transit Association (MOOver); on special appointment to Gov. Thomas Salmon’s blue ribbon commission on land regulation reform; and as a member of the board of directors of Kids in the Country preschool.
Mr. Albano was the past chairman of the Southwestern Vermont Medical Center Finance Committee and the marketing and development committees as well as being a trustee of the hospital and various subsidiaries. He was a member of the governance (executive) committee at Southwestern Vermont Health Care. He was an active member of the Deerfield Valley Rotary Club and was the recipient of a Paul Harris Fellowship Award.
Mr. Albano will be sorely missed by his family, friends, and Havana, his puppy. Funeral services will be held Saturday, September 30, at 11 am at the West Dover Congregational Church. Interment will be private. There are no visiting hours.
If friends desire gifts in his memory may be made to Deerfield Valley Rotary, c/o Covey, Allen & Shea Funeral Home, PO Box 215, Wilmington, VT 05363.
To send the family personal email condolences visit www.sheafuneralhomes.com.