Donald Robert Calfee, “Don,” passed away peacefully Wednesday, Jan. 12, 2022, with his wife and three children by his side. Don is survived by his wife Nettie; three children, Ben, Aimee and Robert; and granddaughter, Summer.
Don was a loving brother, husband, father and grandfather. He was an honorable U.S. Navy veteran and charismatic leader instrumental in building tourism in Moore County. His family and friends cherished him for his positive attitude, generosity and sense of humor.
His relationship with Christ deepened as he aged, and it was through the verse by verse study of the Word ,in Ron Walter’s Bible study, that gave him greater understanding of the scriptures and love for the Lord. He was an active member of Christ Community Church. His love of the Lord was a bright light that served as a steadfast example to all of the lives he touched.
Don was born in Beckley, W. Va., in 1939, and grew up with his two sisters Gloria Martin and Nancy Calfee. After receiving a major in business administration from Berea College, he took on his first job as the general manager of the Tapoco Lodge, in the Smoky Mountains of North Carolina, from 1962-64. When duty called during the Vietnam War, he enlisted in the navy and served as a signals officer and security officer to the Admiral of the U.S.S. Bennington, from 1964 - 67. After being honorably discharged from the U.S. Navy, he returned to his post at the Tapoco Lodge, where he met his wife, Nettie, of 52 years.
In 1973, with wife Nettie and son, Ben, Don moved his new family to Southern Pines, where their daughter, Aimee, and son, Rob, were later born. There he became the general manager and partner of the Sheraton Inn (later to become the Holiday Inn). He grew the hotel to a thriving business and received the Manager of the Year award twice from the Sheraton Corporation and was named Small Business Person of the Year, in 1996. He was instrumental in developing tourism in North Carolina through multiple posts including president of the N.C. Hotel and Motel Association, and founder and president of the Southern Pines Hotel Association. After retirement, he continued to share his passion by becoming a professor of hospitality at Sandhills Community College.
Don was passionate about boating and sailing, and loved to travel, cook and read. But most of all, he enjoyed spending time with his wife and children. His family and friends are immensely grateful for the gift of his love and “one of a kind” charisma, and his legacy will live on in their hearts forever.
Funeral services will be held 2 p.m., Saturday, Jan. 15, in the Ridge Building at Christ Community Church. The family will receive friends prior to the service beginning at 1 p.m. Burial will follow with military honors at Bethesda Cemetery.
Memorials may be made to the Parkinson's Foundation at www.parkinson.org.
Services are entrusted to Powell Funeral Home, Southern Pines.
Online Condolences may be made at PinesFunerals.com.