Brian said his father was involved in Boy Scouts growing up, which provided outdoor pursuits that Donald enjoyed.
“Dad loved the outdoors,” Brian said.
Donald graduated from Hagerstown High School in 1952 and met Jean Douty while both were working at Potomac Edison.
Donald and Jean married six months after meeting — he was 22 and she was 19 — just months before he left for basic training with the U.S. Army in Augusta, Ga.
The couple originally had planned to get married on March 15, 1957, but Donald found out he had to have his military physical that day and suggested they postpone the wedding.
Jean wanted nothing to do with delaying the wedding, so they moved it up a week to March 8 and celebrated their 55th anniversary this year.
“He was a dear,” Jean said of her husband.
She said she was “scared to death” when she rode the train to Augusta to visit her new husband. Donald came home on leave when he could.
Donald then was stationed at Fort Leonard Wood, Mo., and Fort Lee, Va., during his two years of active duty. Two years of active Reserves and two years of inactive Reserves fulfilled his six-year obligation, Brenda said.
He returned to his job with Potomac Edison, now Allegheny Power, and retired in 1996 as a field coordinator after more than 40 years, when there was a corporate reorganization.
Brian credits his father’s military experience for some of his traits.
“Dad was very meticulous about everything he did,” Brian said. “He was very neat, very particular.”
Brenda was born in 1958, followed by Brian in 1961. They lived on Bryan Place before buying the Radcliffe Avenue home in 1963 where they raised their children and still live.
Phyllis said her brother is remembered for his sense of humor, which she describes as “George Burns-type, a dry sense of humor”.
“He was always pulling pranks on his co-workers,” Brenda said. “He was always joking. He had a great sense of humor.”
Brian added that his father loved the humor in “Seinfeld” and must have watched each episode at least 10 times over the years.
Other interests included softball, which Donald played for several years. He was a longtime duckpin bowler, but it was the activities of his children and grandchildren that drew him in.
“As far as the grandkids go, he never missed a concert, band recital, dance recital or chorus concert,” Tara said.
For more than 20 years, Donald has had to deal with medical issues. In 1991, he was “up and down the road to Greensburg (Pa.)” for work. He told Jean over the phone that he wasn’t feeling well, and she got a call later that he was at the hospital in Greensburg with a ruptured aneurysm in his abdomen.