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Richard James "Dick" Donald

Richard James “Dick” Donald, age 94, of 490 Scenic Avenue, Bloomsburg, died peacefully with his family by his side at his home at 1 p. m. Wednesday, March 18, 2020 after a brief illness.

Born in New Philadelphia, Schuylkill County on July 25, 1925, he was a son of the late Richard and Caroline (Hill) Donald. He moved to Bloomsburg from Manhattan, Kansas in 1968.

Dick was a coal miner from the age of 16 to age 30, working as a member of the United Mine Workers Union, except for the time he spent in the U. S. Navy.

He enlisted in the U. S. Navy in November, 1943 and served until January, 1946 with the rank of Sonar Man First Class.   He served on the USS Melvin R. Newman participating in seven major engagements, including two of the greatest battles in history, Okinawa and Iwo Jimo. He was present on Iwo Jimo when the US Troops raised the American flag. Dick also served in the Navy during the Korean War on the USS Richard E. Krouse (a destroyer).

Dick received many medals for his military service including the Pacific Theatre Medal with five stars; the Philippine Liberation Medal with two stars; Unit Citation Battle of Leyte; and the U. S. Navy/U. S. Marine Corps Combat Action Medal.

He was a graduate of East Stroudsburg University and attended New Mexico State University and Kansas State University on scholarships.

Dick taught in the Port Jervis, New York schools and served as the Curriculum Director in Lower Merion Township, Pa. He was a mathematics professor at Kansas State University, Penn State University and last at Bloomsburg University, retiring in 1990.

Following retirement, he enjoyed visiting local schools, telling the students about the history of World War II and the Korean War. He traveled throughout the area speaking to many groups about his war experiences and sharing his many stories. Dick also participated in many veteran’s parades and loved playing taps on  his trumpet.

He was a member of the Ft. McClure Post 804, VFW, Valley of Bloomsburg, American Legion Post 273 and the Columbia County Veterans group. He could be seen annually at the Veterans booth at the Bloomsburg Fair.

Dick enjoyed taking bus trips with his late wife, Marie, spending time with his family, playing cards and gardening. He served as President of Phi Sigma Pi, a National Honor Fraternity of twelve thousand members.

In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his wife, the former Marie Perbetsky, on December 4, 2007 and his only child, Richard W. Donald on December 6, 2014.

Dick is survived by his grandson, Richard J. “Rick” Donald, and his fiance’ Cara Hashagen of Bloomsburg; a great-granddaughter, Lily Marie Donald; two step-great-grandchildren: Cole Wharton and Gabrielle Hashagen; a sister, Carol Bulvich, Allentown; two brothers: Thomas Donald, Pottsville and Donald “DJ” Donald, Philadelphia; and a number of nieces and nephews.

Funeral services will be held on Saturday, July 18, 2020 at 4 p. m. in the Dean W. Kriner, Inc., Funeral Home & Cremation Service, 325 Market Street, Bloomsburg, with Rev. Gary W. Reichenbach officiating. The family will receive friends from 2-4 p. m. Military honors will be accorded by the combined VFW and American Legion group.

Interment will be in Sky View Memorial Park, Rush Township, Schuylkill County on Monday at 10:30 a. m. The procession will leave the funeral home promptly at 9:15 a. m.



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He will always be remembered to me as a great man he will be sadly missed at Hewlett's sausage stand at the Fair i always looked forward to seeing him! RIP Dick

Belinda Fenstemaker Apr 7 2020 12:00 AM

The words '' Hey Buddy '' that is what will stay forever in my mind. He used these words many times whe he was around us. Ellen and i ( Ton ) are from the Netherlands and we started to become friends with Dick at the end of may 2014 when Dick and Jack ( his good friend from Sonestown) came to Holland to visit me on a trip to see the Normandy invasion beaches and the ardennes, it was around june sixth 2014 that we were there were it all happened in june 1944, Dick felt like he was a moviestar because lots of people asked for his autograph or just to shake his hand :-) or a photo or selfie with this WW2 hero to thank him for his service ,they thought he was on the american beaches on june sixth 1944 but he said, well i was somewere else fighting the war. Ellen and i will miss him so very much. This so kind man from the Great American Generation, while i am writing this letter i have tears in my eyes that we will not see or talk with him anymore, but we have good memorys that we saw him last year at the Bloomsburg fair. I am glad Jack asked me if it was okay to bring him along in 2014. So thanks buddy that you came to Holland and you will get a special place in heaven with marie and richard. And thanks for the special moments we shared with you. We wish Rick and his family strenght with this great loss. Ship ahoy sailer, you lived your live proudly. Blesss you. Ton and Ellen.

Ton and Ellen de wild. Apr 2 2020 12:00 AM

A candle was lit in memory of Richard Donald

Karleen and Ted Smith Mar 24 2020 12:00 AM

We know Dick since we attended BSC years ago. My husband had him for some math classes. A few years after graduation, we were surprised to find he was a neighbor ( a few doors down). He always took the time to talk when we saw him. In fact, he called me more than once to complement us on various holiday decorations. He said that he enjoyed them so much and that they brightened his day! I often think of those calls when I put up my window decorations! I will continue to think of him when I do this! We will miss him sure! Our deepest condolences

Valerie and Bob McAnnaney Mar 24 2020 12:00 AM

Ricky & family,
So sorry to read of Dicks passing (although to me he will always lovingly referred to as Dicky)
I have admired him since I first heard about him while I was a college student & finally got to meet him & get to know him better.
His calling was to be a teacher- whether it was math education, the reality of war or just how to be a great person he was always teaching!
Never ever forget how proud he was of you!
My sympathies to you.

Mary Boudman Mar 23 2020 12:00 AM

I worked at the Press Enterprise from 2010 to 2018 and he was by far, one of my favorite customers/visitors. Such a true gentlemen, so kind and just a sweetheart! Even after I quit the Press, he would continued to ask my coworkers how I was doing when he would visit and I would always ask them about him. There truly was no greater, kinder, honest soul than that of Dick Donald. He left a lasting impression on everyone he came into contact with daily. May he rest in peace but surely know he will never ever be forgotten!

Heather Sage Mar 23 2020 12:00 AM

Dick Donald was a great caring man who loved his family and his country. He will truly be missed by many people who he has touched throughout the years. My sympathy goes out to his family.

Suzanne Shaffer Mar 23 2020 12:00 AM

Dick was a great teacher. His students at Bloomsburg University enjoyed his classes. They loved his breath of knowledge, his sense of humor and his caring. He was especially beloved by classroom teachers that he taught in the summers. They packed his classes because his instruction was dynamic and practical. I worked closely with Dick for over 20 years as both a colleague and department
chairman. I had a ringside view of his skills both as a professional education and as a person. He was also a stanch union supporter and supported his colleagues in times of negotiations.
Dicks service to his country was above and beyond! A look at his military achievements quickly verifies that.
After his retirement, he continued to teach people, both young and old the need to be of service to ones country.
Dicks influence as both a teacher and as a person will continue as long as the thousands of students he mentored remain in classrooms in this country. Well done Professor Donald!

Bill OBruba Mar 22 2020 12:00 AM

Peace be with you Richard, Im a server at local restaurant and have waited on Dick , Marie and his son for the last 40 years. To know him this long I feel blessed. Rest In Peace

Bonnie Zultevicz Mar 22 2020 12:00 AM