Memorial Page

Donald H Brett


Donald Henry Brett

Date of Death: 4/28/2018

Donald Henry Brett

March 9, 1942 - April 28, 2018




Donald Henry Brett, 76, passed away peacefully in his home Saturday morning after a lengthy battle with cancer. 

Don was born in Altoona, son of the late Leonard and Emily (Luxenberg) Brett.  He married his “bride” and love of his life, Sheryl DeMatteis on April 18, 1970. 

Don is survived by his wife Sherry, two daughters: Nicole and husband Tat of Boca Raton, FL and Alison and husband Brad of McLean, VA; a son Adam and wife Krista of Camp Hill; eight grandchildren: AJ, Casey, Blake, Sadie, Zach, Ellie, Lex and Owen; a brother, Stephen Brett of Boulder, CO and sister Jean Brett of New York City.   

Don graduated from Altoona Area High School in 1960 and Pennsylvania State University in 1964.  After a brief period working in New York City, his love for family and Altoona brought him back home to work for the family business, women’s clothing retailer, Meyer Jonasson, with his father Leonard.  Together, they created a store that became a pillar of the downtown Altoona community.  Following his father’s death, Don continued to own and operate the downtown Altoona store and expanded to two more stores in the coming years. 

Don’s love for his community extended to the many organizations he participated in and supported.  Don was past president of Temple Beth Israel, he served as a trustee of Altoona First Savings Bank and as Chairman of its Credit Committee for many years, Greater Altoona Development Corporation, Altoona Parking Authority, Altoona Blair County Development Corporation, Rotary Club of Altoona, and founding member of PALS club.

He was an avid reader, golfer and supporter of all things local.  He especially enjoyed spending time with his family and friends.

A funeral service will be held at 10:30 AM, Tuesday, May 1. 2018 at Temple Beth Israel, 3004 Union Avenue Altoona, by Rabbi Audrey Korotkin.  Interment will be at Mt. Sinai Cemetery, Altoona.

In lieu of flowers the family requests that memorial contributions be made in Don’s memory to: St. Vincent DePaul Food for Families, 2201 Union Avenue, Altoona, PA 16601 or Central PA Community Foundation, 1330 Eleventh Avenue, Altoona, PA 16601.

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04/30/18 06:16 PM #8    

William H Culp

   I was so sorry to hear of Don's passing. He is at peace now. He was a special person and he will be missed by his many friends ansd family. My prayers are with Don's family during this sad time. 

04/30/18 11:00 PM #9    

C Kay Oswalt (Gaylor)

I am sad to learn of Don's death. His positive contributions to the class of 1960 as a student, to AAHS, and later to the Altoona community will long be remembered. My prayers are with his family.

05/01/18 09:19 AM #10    

Robert D Park

Barb and I both knew Donny from Roosevelt through graduation. He always knew you and would go out of his way to speak to you. A true gentleman who will be sorly missed.

05/01/18 10:37 AM #11    

Alvin H Baker

What a credit to our class!  Great guy, he will be missed.   Al Baker

05/02/18 07:39 PM #12    

Jeffrey C Dietze

Reading that Don passed away is a real shock for Ann and me.  We've been friends since band in 7th grade at Roosevelt.  I had the opportunity to spend some time with Don at our last reunion and enjoyed catching up.  Now that's really an important conversation.  He'll be missed by all his many friends and by the city of Altoona as a community.  Rest in Peace, Don.

Jeff Dietze

05/02/18 07:46 PM #13    

Robert F Egan

I grew up with Donny and agree he was indeed always pleasant, always a gentleman. He was easy to relate to and always took an interest in how you and your family were doing. An exceptionally likeable person. When I visited Altoona I really looked forward to seeing him. I'll miss him as will many others....

05/03/18 09:13 AM #14    

Richard D Hess

I was so saddened to learn of Don's passing.  I had the pleasure of knowing Don from grade school through high school.  At the class reunions he never failed to say hello and enter into conversation.  He was such a pleasure to be around and pleasant to talk to.  He was just such a fine person.  He will truly be missed.  His contribution and dedication to the Altoona community will certainly be missed as well.  My condolences to the family.

Dick Hess

05/03/18 09:30 AM #15    

James M Loy

Far too often we are writing these notes.  I met Don in Roosevelt as one of the really good guys.  Ever present smile, genuine concern for those around him and of course accomplished businessman always looking for ways to support his community.Having left Altoona in 1960, our trips back for class activities and family visits were always enriched by running into Don and recalling old times.  A life well lived.  Rest in Peace.

05/03/18 11:17 AM #16    

Marlene M Farrow (Johnson)

I was saddened to learn of Don’s passing. He had a gentle way of connecting with  people.

He will be missed by family, friends and the community.

marlene Johnson

05/04/18 01:31 AM #17    

Albert J Holtzinger II

Rita and I extend our condolences to Don's family. Don was not only a high school friend, but we enjoyed good buisness relationships and served on many community boards and commmissions together. Don was always a champion of Altoona. Many future leaders of communities near and far are now being trained in the building that formerly housed Don's business. Thus his legacy will live on. 

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