GRAFTON, Mass. – Donald L. Pelkey of Grafton died Feb. 6 after a brief illness. He was 76.
He was born Jan. 17, 1937, in Worcester to Elmer and Theresa Rozwarski Pelkey. Raised in Worcester, he attended St. Peter's High School. He then joined the Air Force as a reservist before attending the State Police Academy in Framingham.
In 1960, Pelkey began his career as a state trooper, working in barracks from Brookfield and eventually Grafton before retiring in 1982.
Early in his career, he was assigned to the bloodhound unit, where he worked with his hounds, Maude and Trooper. He was eventually transferred to the breathalyzer unit on Martha’s Vineyard.
Pelkey and his wife, Joan, lived in Upton for several years before moving to Grafton. There, he built the home where they would raise a family. Following his retirement, Pelkey built custom reproduction colonial homes.
He enjoyed the outdoors, fishing and hunting deer in Alaska, Idaho and Newfoundland, Canada. He also maintained a home in Wells, Maine.
Pelkey is survived by his wife of 51 years, Joan F. Bergenholtz Pelkey; two sons, Michael, of Wasilla, Ala., and Sean, of Maynard, Mass.; two sisters, Elaine Pelkey, of Worcester, and Florence Pelkey, of Old Town, Fla.; a brother-in-law, Paul (Nancy) D’Amore; three grandchildren and several nieces and nephews.
Visitation is from 5 to 8 p.m. Friday at Roney Funeral Home in North Grafton. A funeral Mass will be celebrated at 11 a.m. Saturday at St. James Church in South Grafton. Burial will follow at Riverside Cemetery in Grafton.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Massachusetts State Police Trooper Benevolent Fund, 11 Beacon St., Suite 700, Boston, MA 02108.