Obituaries

Member Obituaries
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Thomas V. Petzinger, US Navy, Ret. (March 13, 1930 - December 1, 2020)

Capt. Thomas V. Petzinger, 90, a servant to his family, friends, community, and country, passed away on December 1, 2020, at St. Elizabeth Hospital in Boardman.

He was born March 13, 1930, in Canton, Ohio, the son of Bernice Van Voorhis and Henry W. Petzinger. He graduated from Canton Lehman High School in 1948 and in 1952 from Mount Union College (now the University of Mount Union), in Alliance, OH, where he was yearbook editor, a member of the Senior Men’s Honorary, an officer of the Sigma Nu fraternity, and captain of the track team. As a sprinter, he was a persistent first-place finisher in the 100-yard and 200-yard dash and was the leading point recipient in the 1952 Ohio Conference College Track and Field Championship.

His service to his alma mater was lifelong. He served as a member of the Mount Union Board of Trustees from 1990 until his death and was awarded the University’s Alumni Service Award. Both his daughter and granddaughter also became Mount Union alumni.

Following college, he joined the U.S. Navy, graduating from Officer Candidate School and Deep Sea Diving and Salvage School. He served as Executive Officer aboard the USS Mender, ARSD-2, a diving and salvage heavy-lift ship. He was awarded the Navy Commendation Medal for his work in clearing underwater mines and sunken vessels from Inchon Harbor immediately following the Korean Conflict. He also received the Navy Certificate of Commendation as a diver in Operation Castle, in which the early tests of hydrogen bombs were conducted in the atolls of the South Pacific. After retiring from active duty in 1956, he remained an officer in the U.S. Naval Reserve (USNR), whose Deep Sea Diving Program he directed from Crystal City, MD, for many years. He retired from the USNR in 1986 with the rank of captain.

In civilian life, he co-founded March-Petzinger Travel Service in 1956. Upon a merger, the business became Pan Atlas Travel Service, a leading provider of travel services in Northeast Ohio and one of the world’s first adopters of airline computer reservation systems. He was president of the Mid-America Chapter of the American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA), on whose national board he served for many years. During this period he organized and chaired the ATSA World Congress in Seoul, Korea, the largest convention ever held in Korea to that time. His business service also included assisting all three of his children in their own business endeavors, both as an advisor and as an investor.

As a community leader, he served on the board of the Youngstown Chamber of Commerce, the Hearing and Speech Center, and the Youngstown Symphony Society, as President of the Youngstown Club, and as chair of the YMCA Membership Drive and the American Cancer Society Fundraising Drive, among other activities, he was a member of Boardman United Methodist Church. His humor and generosity made him the friend of many.

He was preceded in death by his wife of 55 years, Jean Belden March Petzinger, whom he married in 1952 and who died in 2007, and by a son, William, who died in 1963.

He leaves three children, Elizabeth Holter (Stephen) of Boardman, Charles Petzinger (Lisa) of Amelia, OH, and Thomas Petzinger Jr. (Paulette Thomas) of Pittsburgh, PA; six grandchildren, Beatrice Olesko (Nicholas) of Ithaca, NY, Chase Petzinger (Amanda) of Loveland, OH, Eva Petzinger of Somerville, MA, March Petzinger of Winter Park, CO, Janis Petzinger of Dundee, Scotland, and Sam Holter of Boardman; and three great-grandchildren, Amelia Olesko, Lincoln Petzinger, and Griffin Petzinger. He also leaves his longtime travel and social companion, Paula Barrett.

A memorial celebration will be scheduled. Interment will be at the Ohio Western Reserve National Cemetery in Rittman, Ohio.

The family requests material contributions take the form of donations to either the University of Mount Union or to the Boardman United Methodist Church.

Arrangements are by the Davis-Becker Funeral Home in Boardman.

Please visit www.beckerobits.com to send condolences.

Gary L Williams (July 22, 1943 – November 26, 2020)

MSVC member Lieutenant Colonel Gary Lee Williams, 77, U.S. Army, Retired, passed away on Thursday, 26 November, following a brief illness.

A lifetime resident of Madison Township, Gary was born on 22 July 1943 and graduated from Beaver Local in 1961. He earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Education from Youngstown State University in 1965 and was commissioned a Second Lieutenant from the Army ROTC program, serving in Korea during the Vietnam War. Gary retired from the Army Reserve in 1992 at the rank of Lieutenant Colonel.

He capably served as the President of the Mahoning and Shenango Valleys Chapter of the Military Officers Association of America, 2015-2017.

Gary married Patty Ann Lynn on 26 February 1966, a union lasting 55 years. He was a proud father of 15 children that included LTC (Ret,) Gary Timothy Williams of East Liverpool, and MAJ (Ret.) Patrick “Rick” and Kelly Williams of Negley, both members of the MSVC-MOAA.

Gary earned a Masters’ Degree from Kent State University in public school administration, and served as Columbiana County Recorder and Commissioner and was a longtime Madison Township Trustee. Gary was a member of Point of Mercy Sanctuary in Lisbon.  He was active in Calcutta Rotary, Beaver Local Alumni Association, Beaver Local Athletic Hall of Fame, and numerous Veterans Service Organizations.

Thomas L. Nevin, USAF, Ret. (October 5, 1960 - September 13, 2020)

NILES, Ohio (MyValleyTributes) – Thomas L. Nevin, 59, passed away on Sunday, September 13, 2020 at St. Joseph’s Warren Hospital.

Tom was born on October 5, 1960 in Warren, Ohio, raised by the late Lyle and Iva (Williams) Nevin.

After graduating from high school, Tom joined the United States Air Force and proudly served his country from November 13, 1979 until July 15, 2011, where he obtained the rank of Master Sergeant. In the Air Force, Tom was an electrical power production craftsman. While in active duty status, he toured with the Air Force Entertainment Ensemble known as the Tops in Blue. Tom was deployed seven different times to the Area of Responsibility in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, Operation Iraqi Freedom, and Operation New Dawn. These deployments took place between January 2001 and September 2010. Three of those seven deployments took him to Iraq and a fourth deployment took him to Qatar where he was assigned to a Special Forces Unit in support of their power generation systems. In 2004 Tom was recognized and selected as the Warrior of the Year by the Association of America’s Army and the United Service Organizations.

Tom was involved in a few different organizations. He was a member of the William Farr Masonic Lodge #672, where he held the title of Junior Deacon, the Cortland Masonic Lodge #529, the Order of the Amaranth, Progress Court #22, the Order of the Eastern Star, Sunrise Chapter #458, the Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite – Valley of Youngstown and the Aut Mori Grotto where Tom was a clown known as Crash. Tom served as the treasurer and secretary at different times for the Trumbull County Fraternal Order of Police #195. He was also the Senior Vice Commander for six years at the VFW Post #3521. He was a member of the Western Reserve Fish and Game Association in Niles and was an honorary member of the Military Officers Association of America.

One of Tom’s favorite organizations to participate in was Toys for Tots. The 910 Civil Engineer Squadron, that Tom was part of, would collect gifts and money every year at the main gate during the December Unit Training  Assembly. Tom would volunteer to stand at the gate every single year to help with the collections. Most of this time, he would be dressed up as Santa Claus and he enjoyed every second of it.

Tom had a variety of jobs throughout the years but the one that he thoroughly enjoyed was when he worked at Boardman Medical as a respiratory specialist.

One of the countless hobbies that Tom loved to do was photography and he was quite talented to say the least. In his free time, he enjoyed riding his bike, kayaking, fishing and going to watch the Cleveland Indians and the Browns. Tom’s dog, Jayden “Pickles” was a loyal companion and was loved dearly by him. Tom was a people person and never met a stranger. He was a good friend and was loved by so many people.

Tom will be deeply missed by his sister, Linda; his brothers, Steve, Jerry and Mark; his friends, Gary, Kevin, Dan, Danny, KK and Nick and numerous other family and friends.

William T. Sweeney, ANG, Ret. (March 17, 1947 - September 10, 2020)

William “Bill” T. Sweeney, 73, passed away peacefully on Thursday, September 10, 2020 with his loving family by his side.

Bill was born on March 17, 1947 to Jim and Margret Sweeney. An Irishman at heart, he loved celebrating his birthday each year on St. Patrick’s Day.

He graduated from Cardinal Mooney and attended the Pittsburgh Art Institute for Graphic Design.

Drafted on April 18, 1969, as a Private and upon completion of bootcamp he applied for and was accepted, to the Army Officer Candidate School and Commissioned. Once Commissioned, he chose to enter helicopter training and immediately upon graduation was deployed to Vietnam. While in Vietnam, he served with distinction and rose to the rank of Captain. During his tour in Vietnam, he served with dedication and bravery and was awarded numerous accommodations to include the Bronze Star and 13 Air Metals. Upon completion of his service in Vietnam, Bill’s love for his country and flying led him to the continuation of his military career in the National Guard. He served as a UH-1 helicopter pilot in the Ohio National Guard and later transitioned to a Black Hawk pilot with the West Virginia National Guard. While serving with the West Virginia National Guard, he was granted a unique and rare consent from a 2-Star General at the Pentagon, to be approved for deployment at the age of 59 with his unit to Iraq. Halfway through his tour, he celebrated his 60th birthday. Bill was awarded a second Bronze Star and two Air Metals, while in Iraq. Upon his return to the United States, he retired from his military career at the rank of CW5.

In concurrence with his military service, Bill and his wife, JoAnn, owned Sweeney and Associates, a graphic design studio located in Boardman, Ohio. They operated the company for over 30 years serving clients from small businesses, non-profit companies and major industrial corporations. He took great pride in helping others reach their success through the use of strategic marketing. This type of initiative led to his collaboration in the creation of CSUtest.com, an EMS and Fire online continuing education service.

In 2008, Bill and JoAnn sold Sweeney and Associates and he continued his passion for flying as a pilot for the STAT MedEvac (UPMC critical care transport flight system). Although not on military duty, he continued to save lives. He retired from STAT MedEvac in December 2018.

Besides his country, Bill enjoyed serving his community. He was a 35-year member of Boardman Rotary. He received Rotary’s Service Above Self Award, was a multiple Paul Harris Fellow and Past President of the Club. Bill lived his life following the Rotary’s motto of “Service Above Self”. Quietly assisting many organizations in the area with both his time and talent, he always felt that it was not what you have but what you give that made the difference.

Bill leaves his beloved wife, JoAnn (Cabuno) Sweeney, who he married in November 1969. They recently celebrated their 50th Wedding Anniversary but truly celebrated each year with love and compassion for each other. He is also survived by two children, Shannon (Nick) Tirone of Boardman and Michael (Marnee) Sweeney of New Middletown.

Always a proud father who supported his children with words of wisdom and compassion. The joy of his life was sharing many adventures and activities with his two granddaughters, Jessica Tirone and McKenna Sweeney. All of his awards and recognition did not compare to the pride he had in being called “PaPa”.

In addition, Bill is survived by his siblings, Jim Sweeney of Youngstown, Ed (Joyce) Sweeney of San Francisco, California and Mary (Walt) Healey of Hemet, California.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Jim and Margret Sweeney and a brother, Jack Sweeney.

Calling hours will take place at Davis-Becker Funeral Home, 8536 Market Street, Boardman, Ohio on Monday, September 14, 2020 from 4:00 – 7:00 p.m.

A Mass of Christian burial will take place at 11:00 a.m. on Tuesday, September 15, 2020 at St. Charles Church with a military honor service to follow at Calvary Cemetery.

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, all guests visiting the family Monday evening, September 14 at the funeral home, are asked to wear a mask, honor the 6-foot rule and not linger after greeting the family.

In lieu of flowers, monetary donations can be made in Bill’s name to the Freedom Warriors. This organization assists wounded soldiers and disabled Veterans in the local community. Bill served his country and always believed in helping those who sacrificed their lives. Contributions can be sent to: Freedom Warriors, c/o Community Foundation of WPA and EOH, 7 West State Street, Suite 301, Sharon, PA 16146.

Thomas S. MacRae, USAR, Ret. (October 7, 1947 - December 11, 2017)

Thomas Sloan MacRae passed away on December 11, 2017 at Grove City Medical Center. He was the devoted husband of Julia (Reep) MacRae and beloved father of sons Sloan and John MacRae.

Tom served his country with distinction in the Vietnam War as a platoon leader, company commander, and MACV team distract advisor. He was awarded the Bronze Star, Purple Heart, Air Medal, and Combat Infantry Badge. He retired from the U.S. Army Reserves in 2007 at the rank of colonel, having served as Battalion Commander of the 402nd Quartermaster Battalion, 99th ARCOM during Operation Desert Storm.

A lifelong resident of Grove City, Tom was born October 7, 1947 to parents Alexander and Frances MacRae. He excelled at sports, most notably wrestling, at Grove City High School and Grove City College, where he graduated in 1969 with a bachelor’s degree in biology. Tom worked at the George Junior Republic for 40 years, eventually serving as facilities manager and overseeing construction, contracting, maintenance, and operations.

Tom golfed avidly, enjoying the competition and camaraderie at Grove City Country Club, where he played almost every day. His friends and family will remember his honesty, pragmatism, and often blunt sense of humor.

He is survived by his wife Julia; son and daughter-in-law Sloan and Camille MacRae; son and daughter-in-law John and Amber MacRae; grandchildren Isabella, Emmett, Ean, and Megan; brother and sister-in-law James and Judy MacRae; and brother and sister-in-law Douglas and Susan MacRae.

A memorial service with military honors will be held at 12:30 pm on May 18, 2018 at the National Cemetery of the Alleghenies, 1158 Morgan Rd, Bridgeville, PA, 15017. A reception celebrating Tom’s life will follow the ceremony. In lieu of flowers, please consider a contribution to Wounded Warrior Project. The family wishes to thank the staff of Grove City Medical Center for their grace and compassion.

Arrangements by Cunningham Funeral Home, Inc., Grove City, PA.

Elbert Bishop (January 27, 1932 - April 25, 2017)

Elbert "Lee" Bishop passed away peacefully Tuesday (April 25, 2017) at home in Normal, surrounded by his family.

He was born Jan. 27, 1932, in Oklahoma City, to Roy and Murrell Bishop. He was raised in San Antonio,  Texas, and Hobbs, N.M.

He is survived by his wife of 35 years, Pamela, Normal; children, John (Nancy) Bishop, Texas; Brian (Heather) Chism, California; Sheralyn (Rex) Morris, California; and Alissa (Glenn) Lynch, Illinois; brother- in-law, Terry (Tracy) Dwy, Nevada; cousin, Rosemary Thompson, Georgia; nieces, Linda (Charles) Ogburn and Laurie (Mike) LaBau, both of Texas; grandchildren, Jeremy Bishop, Christine Hughes, Michael (Victoria) Bishop, Tyler Hoskins, Cameron (Alexis) Hoskins, Brianne Cruz, Spencer Hoskins, Gavin Lynch, Mackenzie Lynch, Nathaniel Chism and Reese Scott; and great-grandchildren, Carly Hughes, MayaJo Hughes, Avalyn Hoskins, Maeryn Hoskins, Grayson Lee Hoskins and James Bishop.

He was preceded in death by his parents and brother, John Bishop.

He was a veteran of the U.S. Army, Navy and Air Force and Air Force Reserves, serving during the Korean War. He achieved the rank of lieutenant with the Air Force.

He worked as a police officer in Riverside, Calif., while going to school to obtain his law degree. He worked for State Farm Insurance in claims for 33 years.

His lifelong love of horses led to many years of memories with the Riverside Rancheros and the De Anza de Cabelleros horse groups.

After retirement he became active in the Honor Guard for Amvets Post 45 in Salem, Ohio, and most recently the Honor Guard with American Legion Post 635, Normal.

According to his request, no services will be observed.

A special thank you to OSF Home Health Care and Hospice for care and compassion these past four months.

Christopher Whitehead, US Army, Ret. (Apr 11, 1938 - Dec 12, 2016)

Chris attended Central High School in Columbus, Ohio and joined the Air Force and later joined the Army where he proudly served his country with two tours in Viet Nam. He also served in Germany, Korea, Saudi Arabia and many bases around continental United States. Chris was a Quartermaster and was awarded many medals and commendations. He retired in November 1981. He then worked for the United States Postal Service for 18 years.

Chris coached Men's, Women's and Children's basketball teams in the military, St. Joseph's Catholic School in Newton Falls, Warren Christian, KSU Trumbull Campus, St. Mary's Middle School, LaBrae High School and Warren City Schools. Chris was active with his son's Boy Scout Troop #101, where he taught Rifle Marksmanship and assisted with camping trips.

He is survived by his wife of 39 years, Edwina Bell Whitehead, three daughters and one son, seven grandchildren and many great granchildren and great-great grandchildren.

A memorial service took placed on December 17 at First Baptist Church in Braceville where Chris was a member and served as trustee and sang in the Male Chorus.

He joined MSVC in September 2012 and served as the chapter's personal affairs chairperson.

John R. Hulan, USA (August 5, 1933 - November 21, 2015)

John R. Hulan, 82, passed away peacefully at his home at 4:40pm on Saturday, November 21, 2015, from complications of pneumonia.

John was born in Warren, on August 5, 1933, the son of Michael and Mary Evans Lonchison Hulan. He was raised in Howland, Trumbull County, and after high-school graduation attended Kent State University, graduating in 1955, with a Bachelor of Science in Education.  Additional undergraduate work includes a Secondary Social Studies Teaching Certificate from Youngstown State University.  John also received degrees from Kent State University in Psychology and School Administration; with further Graduate Studies in Psychology and Statistics from Case Western University; and Graduate Studies in School Administration from Youngstown State University.  John held Certificates of Education in Elementary Education, Comprehensive Social Studies, Guidance Counselor, School Psychologist, Supervisor in Elementary Education, Educational Administration Specialist, and Superintendent.

John’s work experience spanned over 45 years, predominately in the Warren City School system. John worked as an Elementary School Teacher, Jr. High Social Studies and English Teacher, Guidance Counselor, School Psychologist, Coordinator of Federal Programs Development, Supervisor of Early Childhood Education and Testing for Federal Assistance Programs, and Director of Curriculum and Research, including functioning as Interim Superintendent.  John also worked as Part-Time Supervisor of Student Teachers at Youngstown State University and Akron University.    During the three years John was Coordinator of Federal Programs Development, he directed Head Start and Adult Basic Education Programs, while having several papers published and presented on that topic.  John enjoyed a long and distinguished career in education. John was especially honored at being selected as a Group Study Exchange Team Leader for the Rotary Foundation of Rotary International, exposing his team to vocational studies in Northern England’s Lake District during March 2003.

John’s professional affiliations included membership in the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development; serving as a member of the Board of Trustees, Treasurer, and President of Children’s Rehabilitation Center; and Lay Leader and Chairman of Council of Ministries of Howland United Methodist Church.  John was a life member of the National Education Association.  He served as secretary and president of the Organization of Administrative and Supervisory Personnel, was a member of Phi Delta Kappa, served his community as President of Warren Rotary during 1990-1991, was its District Chair for Scholarships, and a member of the Buckeye Club. John was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant through the ROTC Program; he was a graduate of the Basic Infantry Officer’s Course at Ft. Benning, GA; ten years as a Reserve officer, serving as Platoon Leader, Executive Officer, Company Commander, and Asst. S3 on Battalion staff; and was Honorably Discharged with the rank of Captain in August 1965.

John enjoyed extensive overseas travel and being exposed to new cultures.  His travels  included such diverse destinations as Egypt, Russia, and multiple countries in Western and Eastern Europe.

John was predeceased by his first wife, Patricia McIntosh Hulan; two sisters, Mary Sanders Kish and Ann Sanders Kubinski; brother-in-law, Frank Poulos; brother-in-law, William McIntosh, and sister-in-law, Karen McIntosh; a nephew, Jeff Sanders; nephew- in-law, Stanley Wolanzyk; and two grand-nephews,  Jeff Wolanzyk and Shaun Palette. John will be deeply missed by his wife of 12 years, Ruth Hrenick, whom he married on July 16, 2003, hisdaughter, Amy Hulan, of Corvallis, Oregon; step-daughter Rachel (James) Steadman, of Erie, Pennsylvania; a grandson, Ethan, and granddaughter, Aydenn; a sister, Margaret Sanders Poulos; brother, Michael (Erma) Sanders; and sister- in-law, Mary (William) Dennis; and numerous nieces and nephews and their families. The family expresses their thanks to the kind and caring staffs of St. Joseph and Trumbull Memorial Hospitals, the Howland Paramedic Unit, and to the Wound Care Department of St. Joe’s for the exceptional care they provided to John.

A Memorial Service will take place at 4:30pm, Wednesday, November 25, 2015, Howland United Methodist Church, 730 Howland Wilson Rd NE, with Pastor Matt Darrin officiating.   Friends may call one hour prior to the church service

William Thomas Beatty, Sr. (Sept 27, 1934 - Apr 27, 2014)

VOLANT, FL. William Thomas Beatty Sr., 79, of Volant and Clearwater, Fla., and formerly of Slippery Rock, passed away Sunday, April 27, 2014, in Clearwater. He was born Sept. 27, 1934, in Slippery Rock, to Frank Sedwick Beatty and Margaret Iona Steele Beatty. He married Audrey Price Beatty on July 11, 2003. She survives at the residence. He was previously married to Katherine Gates Beatty on Aug. 15, 1959. She preceded him in death on Oct. 24, 2001. He graduated from Slippery Rock High School in 1952 and Slippery Rock State Teachers College in 1956, and went on to earn two masters degrees. He went to the military after college and retired as a full colonel of the Army Reserve. He was a high school administrator and started the football program at Slippery Rock High School. He was the school's first coach. He organized the first midget football program. He was an outstanding basketball player in his youth and was inducted into the Butler County Sports Hall of Fame, the Slippery Rock University Sports Hall of Fame and the Slippery Rock High School Sports Hall of Fame. He was a member of Slippery Rock United Methodist Church. He was a member and past master of Grove City F&AM Lodge 603, and was a member of Order of Eastern Star 110. He was a member of the Slippery Rock Good Fellows and Ridgeway Elks.

Survivors include his wife, Audrey, of Volant; a daughter, Barbara K. Pink of Slippery Rock; three sons, William T. Beatty Jr. and his wife, Peggy, of Grove City, Steve E. Beatty of Slippery Rock and Joseph A. Beatty and his wife, Sara, of Slippery Rock; a stepson, Donald R. Smith of Volant; two stepdaughters, Rae Lynn Smith of New Wilmington and Lea Ann Kuth of Harmony; a sister, I. Claire Barron and her husband, John, of Slippery Rock; 10 grandchildren; six stepgrandchildren; a great-grandson; and six stepgreat-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his parents; his first wife; and a son-in-law, Gary Pink.

The family will receive friends from 2 to 4 and 7 to 9 p.m. Saturday, May 3, and from 1 to 2 p.m. Sunday, May 4, at the Smith Funeral Home, 421 New Castle St., Slippery Rock. A Masonic service will be observed Saturday evening. Funeral services will be 2 p.m. Sunday at the funeral home with the Rev. Keith McIlwain, pastor of the Slippery Rock United Methodist Church, presiding. Military honors will be observed following the service Sunday at Slippery Rock Cemetery. Memorial contributions may be made to the American Cancer Society or the American Kidney Association.

John Koshan shared this on Bill's military career:

Bill was commissioned via the Pennsylvania National Guard OCS program. Can't tell you how many conversations we had about this and how many friends he had in the guard. I met him when we were both Captains in the 475th QM Group in Farrell. Bill was a logistics officer. He became the S4 for the Group and eventually the Group Commander. He also was a Battalion commander, commanding the 402nd QM Operating Bn in Farrell, Pa. Bill was appointed as the Deputy Chief of Staff (DSLOG) for Logistics for the 99th Reserve Command in Pittsburgh,PA and then was appointed commander of the 443rd Depot, another unit of the 99th Reserve Command. He served in this capacity until he retired.

John was a life member of MOAA and joined the MSVC Chapter two years ago.

Donald J. Oglesby (Mar 4, 1940 - Mar 3, 2014)

HUBBARD OH. Donald J. Oglesby crossed the bar to be with his Lord on March 3, 2014. Don was born March 4, 1940 in Aberdeen, Wash., to the late John C and R Geraldine (Smith) Oglesby. He attended Morgan Jr High School in Ellensburg, Wash., North Central High School in Spokane, Wash., and received his BS degree from the University of the State of New York in 1982. Don enlisted in the US Navy in 1957, serving on destroyers home ported in Norfolk, Va., and Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, and at Fleet Sonar School, Key West, Fla. He received an Honorable Discharge from the Navy as a Chief Petty Officer in 1969 and returned to Spokane. In 1971 he enlisted in the US Coast Guard and served at Fleet Training Group, Pearl Harbor. He retired from the Coast Guard in 1982. After retiring, he relocated to LaCrosse, Wis. and served for 15 years as a Motor Carrier Inspector for the Wisconsin State Patrol.

Don was an active member in the Military Officers Association of America; he was a member and past president of the La Crosse Chapter, member of the Ohio Western Reserve Chapter and a charter member and Secretary/Treasurer of the Mahoning and Shenango Valleys Chapter. He was also a member of Austintown American Legion Post 301, Wisconsin State Patrol Alumni Association, Coast Guard Warrant and Chief Warrant Officers Association, and Ohio Buckeye Coasties Group. He was a member of Grace Fellowship Church, Warren, Ohio and a volunteer reader for Reading Radio Service of Youngstown. Don was an avid fan of NASCAR and enjoyed fishing and cooking. He was involved in tracing his family roots in genealogical research.

He is survived by his wife Janet Robison Oglesby whom he married May 28, 2000, his four sons and one daughter, a stepson and stepdaughter, eighteen grandchildren and seven great grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his late wife Barbara Johnson Oglesby of LaCrosse.

Services will be held at the Smith's Funeral Home, 3126 Main St., West Middlesex, Thursday at 11:00 am with Rev. Robert McFarland of Chestnut Ridge Church of God officiating. In lieu of flowers contributions can be made to Austintown American Legion Post 301, 3652 Oakwood Ave. Austintown, OH 44515 or MSVC-MOAA c/o Walt Duzzny, Treasurer 66 Parkgate Ave. Youngstown, OH 44515.

Gary Solander, USA, Ret. (August 22, 1937- March 16, 2012)

Gary Solander, Col., USA Ret., of 1695 Woodside Dr. Hermitage, passed away peacefully at 3:09 a.m. Friday, March 16, 2012, in the hospital of Sharon Regional Health System with his family by his side. He was 74.

Col. Solander was born August 22, 1937 in Yates Center, Kansas the son of Clifford and Wilma Wyse Solander.

He was a graduate of St. Teresa High School in Hutchinson, KS. Following high school, Gary continued his education at Benedictine College in Atchison, KS where he graduated with his Bachelors Degree in Business Administration and his Masters Degree in Systems Management from University of Southern California.

Gary had 38 years of service as an enlisted (Sergeant First Class), Warrant Officer and Commissioned Officer in the United States Army. While in the military he graduated from the US Army Command and General Staff College and the US Army War College. He served in the US, Europe and the Far East. He had various duties, such as Command and Staff positions from squad to Major Army commands. Service assignments were in the Pentagon on the Army General Staff and in the Department of Defense. Col. Solander was awarded the Legion of Merit, Bronze Star, Army Meritorious Service, Army Commendation, Army Achievement, Good Conduct, Vietnam Campaign, RVN Cross of Gallantry with Palm, Vietnam Service Medal, Overseas Service Ribbon, National Defense Service, Korean Defense medal, Pennsylvania Commendation Medal, Combat Infantry Medal, Parachutist, and Jungle Expert Badges.

He was a member of VFW Post #6166 Sharon, Disabled American Veterans Chapter 55, American Legion Post #299 Sharon, and Mercer County Vietnam Era Veterans.

Col. Solander was currently the Director of Veterans Affairs in Mercer County and has been employed there since July 0f 2002.

Surviving are: his wife, the former Rebecca Ann Suchy Solander, whom he married February 17, 1987, and resides at home; 3 daughters, Janine Hogue Jones of Pittsburgh, PA, Caitlin Solander of Pittsburgh, PA, and Leslie and her husband Jeff Watkins of Colonial Heights, VA; a son Lt. Col. Kevin and his wife Samantha Solander of Roanoke, VA; 7 grandchildren, Jacob Jones, Christopher and Katie Watkins, United States Navy ET3 Andrew, Connor, Tucker, and Patric Solander.

In addition to his parents, Gary was preceded in death by a brother, Michael Solander.

The family suggests memorial contributions be made to the National Parkinson’s Foundation, 1501 N.W. 9th Avenue / Bob Hope Road, Miami, Florida 33136-1494 or to any local veterans organization.

Calling hours will be from 5 to 8 p.m. Sunday, March 18 2012, in J. Bradley McGonigle Funeral Home and Crematory, Inc., 1090 E. State St., Sharon.

Friends may email condolences by visiting www.McGonigleFuneralHomeandCrematory.com.

Mass of Christian burial will be 11:00 a.m. Monday, March 19, 2012, in Church of Notre Dame, Hermitage with the Jeffrey J. Noble, pastor, as celebrant. Prior to leaving for Mass, a veteran’s services will be conducted at the funeral home by the VFW West Middlesex Post 6233 and the Wheatland American Legion Post 432.