Dr. Donald Singer

Obituary of Dr. Donald L. Singer

      Donald Lewis Singer died in his sleep early on the morning of August 31, 2023 in Bowie Maryland after a long battle with cancer.  He was born in Amsterdam, NY on August 27, 1935 to Lillian Miller Singer and Herbert T Singer. Lillian Miller Singer died September 9, 1935 of a bacterial infection (before penicillin). Herbert Singer married Ruth Sack in 1936, who adopted Donald and raised him together with his two younger siblings, Judy Singer Bercuvitz and David Singer.  Don was Amsterdam High School class of 1953 and Cornell University class of 1957. He served two years for the United States Army in Germany and then went on to get an MA from Northwestern University and a PhD from American University in history.  He was an archivist at the United States National Archives in Washington D.C. from 1980 to 2009. He worked as a reference archivist for military records from WWII, post WWII, and the Korean War. He was responsible for compiling and cataloging the names of roughly 20,000 Holocaust victims from the Langstein concentration camp that were previously unknown in official Holocaust records.

His first marriage to Patricia Finney Singer ended in divorce. They had one daughter Valerie Singer who currently lives in Atlanta, Georgia.  His second marriage to Mary Frances McCutchan (of Bowie Maryland) in 1996 brought him much joy in the later part of his life. 

He was a dog lover, known for his kindness and humor, and a true historian, remembering dates of many events both personal and historic. He cared deeply about his Jewish faith. He ran five marathons between 2000 and 2005 including the Boston Marathon at age 69. He loved to play chess, a hobby he continued until the last week of his life. 

He is survived by his wife, Mary McCutchan, his daughter Valerie Singer, his step-children Selina Kell, Matthew Kell, and Amanda Kell, his grandchildren, Jonah Singer, Rafael Singer, Selina Lee, Theodore Kell, and Peter Kell and his siblings Judy Singer Bercuvitz, David Singer, and Mark Bercuvitz.  

In Lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to St Jude's Research Hospital for Childhood Cancers.

Burial will be in the Temple of Israel Cemetery in Cranesville NY at 2:00 PM on Monday September 4, 2023.   Local arrangements are under the direction of the Betz,Rossi, Bellinger & Stewart Family Funeral Home, 171 Guy Park Avenue, Amsterdam, NY 12010.  Please leave condolences online at www.brbsfuneral.com



Graveside Service

2:00 pm - 3:00 pm
Monday, September 4, 2023
Temple of Israel Cemetery
Cranes Hollow Road
Cranesville, New York, United States
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