Donald J. Almendinger
August 15, 1927 ‒ April 11, 2014
May God bless the quiet man whose actions spoke loudly as fine examples of the good, the true, and the wise.
Donald James Almendinger, age 86 lately of Delaware, OH, died at home on 11 April 2014 following a brief illness with an aggressive cancer. He was born in 1927 on the family farm in Pleasant Township near the village of Prospect, OH, to parents Benjamin and Helen (Landon) Almendinger. Don was valedictorian of the Pleasant HS class of 1945 and center on the Pleasant Panda basketball team. He started his professional career as a survey crew member with the Marion County engineer’s office (1948-50) and subsequently as a highway surveyor and construction inspector with the Ohio Department of Transportation (1951-65). During these times he studied surveying through the International Correspondence School and became a registered surveyor in 1957. He maintained a private land-surveying practice for years with partner Richard Beatty. In 1965 he joined the Crawford Construction Company (CCC) of Galion, OH, for engineering layout work. Don was promoted to president of CCC in 1989, retiring in 1993. In semi-retirement, Don had the pleasure to renew his surveying practice with Tom Askew and finally with his lifelong friend Bob Buckley.
On October 12, 1951, Don married Dianne Lee Weary, leading to 62 years of conjugal happiness. Their first apartment was in the Marion home of Pearl Irey and Mary Self, whom Don and Dianne loved as family for the rest of their lives. Don’s life was filled with service to community and church, principally through the First Presbyterian Church in Marion, where Don taught 8th grade Sunday school and served as trustee, deacon, and elder. Don used his surveying skills to lay out the track and football field for Pleasant school, and he attended Pleasant football games near and far for his entire adult life. He also loved Ohio State Buckeye football, attending most home games since 1977 and traveling to many bowl games over the years. After retiring and moving to Delaware in 2006, Don and Dianne joined Old Stone Presbyterian Church. Don volunteered in the Delaware County Preservation Park system, including Deer Haven, Gallant Woods, and the Gallant Farm Preserve. Every weekday morning, he enjoyed the Ten O’Clock Coffee Club at the Hamburger Inn.
Don is survived by his loving wife Dianne; son John C. (Jill D. Foos) of Grand Rapids, MN, with grandchildren Aaron B., Katherine D., and Andrew J. (Amanda L. Holmgren), with great-grandchild Mackenzie Rose; son James E. (Amy B. Hable) of Stillwater, MN, with step-grandson Jackson T. Scott; daughter Julia A. (Crit Warren) Schirmer of Columbus, OH, with grandchildren Louis S. and Alexander J.; and sister Kathleen (Robert) Ackley of East Liberty, OH; niece Janice A. (Brian) Atterholt with great-niece Paige and great-nephew Dylan; and nephew Jay R. (Kristin Boots) Ackley with great-nephews Kyle and Kris.
A memorial service to celebrate Don’s life will be held on Saturday, May 24, at 11 AM; Visitation will be held from 9:30AM to 10:30AM in the First Presbyterian Church in Marion, OH. Lunch will be offered at the church following a private graveside ceremony.
Donations in lieu of flowers may be sent to Delaware County Gallant Farm Preserve (www.preservationparks.com/parks-facilities/parks/gallant-farm-preserve/), Heartland Hospice in Marion (www.heartlandhospice.com/), or the American Cancer Society (www.cancer.org/index).
For the convenience of Delaware locals, an additional memorial service will be held the day before at Willow Brook on Delaware Run, 100 Delaware Crossing West, Friday May 23 at 2 p.m. Friends from the 10 O’Clock Coffee Club, Preservation Parks, and Old Stone Presbyterian Church are welcome to bring memories of Don to this gathering.
Denzer-Farison-Hottinger & Snyder Funeral Home is honored to have been chosen to serve Donald’s family and your private condolences may be expressed to them by visiting www.SnyderFuneralHomes.com.