Dominick A. ‘Don’ Daffner, 59

Dominick A. “Don” Daffner, 59, of Milton, Del., passed away peacefully, surrounded by his loving family, at home on Sunday, Aug. 11, 2019. He was born June 3, 1960, in Lewes, Del., to Gerald Pierce Daffner and Rose Marie (Nobles) Daffner.

Daffner was a graduate of Cape Henlopen High School, in the Class of 1978. He began his working career at Pier Point Marina in Dewey Beach, Del., followed by 40 years at Barcroft (now SPI Pharma) in Lewes, where he held many different positions over the years.

Daffner 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 in his home garage, also known as the “The Pop Shop.” He had many different projects that he would always try to incorporate his family in, such as building air cannons to compete in the World Championship Punkin’ Chunkin’; recently restoring his Ford F350 that he bought new in 1993; and building quilts with his wife, Debbie, for numerous non-profit organizations.

“Don and Deb” built their own home in six months, with help from family and friends on the weekends. During that time, he worked full-time at his job, came home every day to put on his tool belt, and worked until night to make their dream home a reality where they have lived happily for 27 years. He 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. He played a very big role in many people’s lives as a mentor and friend, and he will be missed dearly.

Daffner 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, and Bryan Schell and his wife, Laurie, all of Millsboro, Del.; two grandsons, Will Schell of Millsboro and Bryan Miller of Milford, Del.; his mother-in-law, Jean Mitchell and her husband, Francis, of Rehoboth Beach, Del.; four siblings, Jerry Daffner of Chambersburg, Pa., Linda Abbott of Georgetown, Del., Michael Daffner of Georgia and Dave Matthews of Florida; and his many nieces and nephews who just loved and adored their “Uncle Donnie.”

In lieu of flowers, the family suggested memorial contributions to Make-A-Wish Foundation; Philadelphia, Delaware & Susquehanna Valley Chapter; 100 W. 10th St., Ste. 106; Wilmington, DE 19801 or online at A private service will be held at a later date. Condolences may be sent online at