Biography of Donald M. Haefele
Author of: "Memorial"
The photographs shown on this Web site are from
the book, "Memorial".
Donald Haefele grew up in Rochester, N.Y. graduating from
John Marshall High School. After high school, he enlisted in the
U.S. Navy during World War II. He served in the U.S. Navy from
1944-46 in the Philippines. Don was in the Navy Reserves until
Donald Haefele was a Greece Central School District
Administrator for more than 30 years. In 1950, he began his
career as a teacher at Hoover Drive School and then became
vice-principal at Greece Olympia High School. In 1961, he became
principal at Hoover Drive and five years later, principal of
Arcadia High School. In 1969, Don Haefele opened Athena High
School. He retired in 1981.
He then turned his interest in photography into a second
career. Besides nature subjects, he became interested in the
Vietnam Memorial after the son of a close friend was killed in
action. While photographing the soldier’s name he became “caught
up” in the beauty and reflective quality of the Wall. His book,
"Memorial" is the result of his passion to try to capture its
effect on the veteran’s and their loved ones.
"I wanted to show that the Vietnam Memorial is really
special, that we’ve finally welcomed them home", Haefele says.
The following information was written in
1982 by Don Haefele.
The genesis of the book was two-fold in nature. In the
first place, I had two of my three sons, Daniel and
Matthew, serve in Vietnam in consecutive years 1969 and
1970. Dan was seriously wounded while fighting the enemy
in Mekong Delta. He recovered from his wounds and was sent
My thankfulness for their safe return has not
diminished over the past 13 years. It was not until I
visited Vietnam Veteran’s Memorial in Washington D.C.,
last November 1982 that I understood how I might express
my thankfulness. By portraying in a photographic, artistic
and verbal way, the beauty of the Memorial and its impact
on veterans, the parents and friends of Veterans as well
as all the other visitors to the Memorial. All the
photographs, stories, and art work focus on the Memorial,
not the war.
The book, “Memorial”, also documents sculptor,
Frederick Hart’s work in clay to the time when the statue
was to be bronzed. Over a two year period, I followed
Frederick Hart’s progress on the clay statues.
These 3 men contributed their combined talents to produce
the book "Memorial"
- Don Haefele – retired teacher and principal Greece
Central School District
- William R. Veenis – Language Arts Supervisor in Greece
- Stephen Haefele – freelance Artist and Illustrator
Donald M. Haefele passed away on March 30, 1999.
Don’s three sons and his wife reside in Western, N.Y.
Information submitted by Shirley J.
Haefele (Mrs. Donald M.)