Longtime veterinarian Donald Alan Delinks, who cared for local pets for many years at Falmouth Animal Hospital and later opened Cape Cod Pet Resort, has died. Dr. Delinks died at his home in North Falmouth on Tuesday, November 17, after a short battle with multiple myeloma. He was 82.
He was born in Binghamton, New York, the son of Anna and Joseph Delinks. Because of his father’s career, his family moved every two years around the country and at the start of his teenage years moved to Salzburg, Austria, in 1951. He commuted by train to Linz, Austria, each week to attend school and, after the family relocated to Paris, France, three years later, ultimately graduated from high school in that city.
He attended the University of Maryland Extension in Munich, from which he received his bachelor’s degree. Soon after, his family moved from Paris to the Philippine Islands, where he would earn his degree in veterinary medicine from the University of the Philippines.
After returning to the United States, Dr. Delinks continued his education at University of Massachusetts at Amherst, earning a master’s degree in entomology.
His career as a veterinarian began at the Bruce Animal Hospital in Dedham and the Animal Rescue League of Boston. Then he moved from Westwood to take over the Falmouth Animal Hospital practice from Dr. William D. Jones in 1967, which at that time was in the original facility established by Dr. Jones on Route 28A in North Falmouth in 1958. Dr. Delinks moved the veterinary practice in July 1973 into new quarters on Route 151.
After 32 years as owner and operator of the hospital, Dr. Delinks sold the veterinary practice in 1999 to VetCor Professional Practices, Inc., remaining as chief of staff at the animal hospital.
In 2005 he received town approval to build a luxury pet boarding kennel next to the animal hospital and opened Cape Cod Pet Resort. Most recently, dog training, pet adoption and self-service grooming services were being permitted for the property.
The veterinarian’s working relationship with Forever Home Rescue led to his adopting a rescued Chihuahua from the organization’s headquarters in Medfield just two years ago.
Dr. Delinks was an accomplished runner. He had participated in every Falmouth Road Race since its inception, including walking the virtual race this year. He also completed two Boston Marathons and one New York City Marathon.
For many years, he participated in a midday swim at Surf Drive Beach on New Year’s Day that he and a group of friends began in the late 1980s; the members dubbed themselves the “Fabulous, Fantastic, Frigid Fools of Falmouth,” and the plunge into the ocean became an annual tradition with a group photo and Certificates of Foolishness awarded to participants.
He had also been a player on the basketball teams of his high school and his college in Munich during his years living abroad.
Dr. Delinks served on the Falmouth School Committee for 18 years until the end of his sixth term in 1998.
He leaves his wife, Patricia Ahearn, and their two children, Joseph Delinks of Tampa, Florida, and Aislinn Delinks of Falmouth; four children from his first marriage, Jennifer Pease, Donald Delinks Jr., Thomas Delinks and Elizabeth Delinks, all of Falmouth; five grandchildren; and a sister, Carol Darling of Modesto, California.
Services will be held at a later date.