Dominick A. Daffner, Punkin Chunkin winner

August 16, 2019

Dominick A. Daffner, 59, of Milton passed away peacefully surrounded by his loving family Sunday, Aug. 11, 2019, at his home.

Don was born June 3, 1960, in Lewes to Gerald Pierce Daffner and Rose Marie (Nobles) Daffner. He was a graduate of Cape Henlopen High School Class of 1978. He began his working career at Pier Point Marina in Dewey Beach, followed by the next 40 years at Barcroft, now known as SPI Pharma in Lewes, where he held many different positions over the years. 

Don loved spending time with family and friends. He spent many weekends on Cape Henlopen Beach where he fished and played horseshoes. “If it’s free, it’s me,” was one of his favorite sayings because he loved free stuff. He would always make somebody’s junk into something spectacular at home in his garage, also known as The Pop Shop. He had many different projects that he worked on that he would always try to incorporate his family in. Some of his projects included: building air cannons to compete in the World Championship Punkin Chunkin, recently restoring his Ford F350 that he bought new in 1993, and also building quilts with his wife Debbie for numerous nonprofit organizations.

Don and Deb built their own home in six months with help from family and friends on the weekends. During that time, Don worked full time at his job and came home every day to put on his tool belt to work until night to make his and Deb’s dream home a reality where they have lived happily for 27 years. Donnie was a jokester and was always making someone laugh, especially his grandsons and his many nieces and nephews. He loved all the kids in the family and they loved him. Don played a very big role in many people’s lives as a mentor and friend, and he will be missed dearly. 

Don is survived by his loving wife of 31 years, Deborah J. (Carpenter) Daffner; his mother, Rose Marie Belote and her husband Richard of Lewes; two sons, Billy Schell of Millsboro, and Bryan Schell and his wife Laurie of Millsboro; two grandsons, Will Schell of Millsboro, and Bryan Miller of Milford; his mother-in-law, Jean Mitchell and her husband Francis of Rehoboth Beach; four siblings, Jerry Daffner of Chambersburg, Pa., Linda Abbott of Georgetown, Michael Daffner of Georgia, and Dave Matthews of Florida. Don is also survived by his many nieces and nephews who just loved and adored their “Uncle Donnie.” 

A private service will be held at a later date.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorial contributions in Don’s name to Make-A-Wish Foundation Philadelphia, Delaware & Susquehanna Valley Chapter, 100 W. 10th St., Suite 106, Wilmington, DE 19801 or by visiting 

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