Donald Jay Coldwell
June 26, 1927 ‒ May 18, 2017
Donald Jay Coldwell, age 89, of Marion, died Thursday afternoon, May 18, 2017, at his home surrounded by his loving family.
On June 26, 1927, Don was born in Marion, Ohio, one of two sons of the late Jay and Helen (Cox) Coldwell. He graduated from Marion Harding High School in the class of 1945.
Shortly following graduation, Don enlisted to serve his country in the U.S. Army during World War II. He served as a Corporal in the Medical Services.
Upon his honorable discharge, Don returned home to Marion, and started his own business as a mechanic, fixing anything with wheels from his garage. He also became the mechanic for Paul Hooper’s dirt track racing team, and they traveled all over Ohio and the surrounding states to race.
In 1953, Don left the track to join the City of Marion’s Fire Department, where he was endearingly known as “Slim”. Soon after becoming a fire fighter, Don’s chief put his garage skills to use, making him the mechanic for the fire department. He honorably served the Marion community for twenty seven years, until his retirement.
Keeping busy, Don continued as a mechanic, working part time in Emmett Young’s garage for many years.
Wanting to be involved in his son’s lives, Don was an active volunteer for the Boy Scouts of America, serving as the Assistant Scout Master for Boy Scout Troop 75, which was sponsored by the City of Marion’s Fire Department and Webelos Den Leader for Pack 14. He also was a staff member for Boy Scout retreats at Camp Owens for many years. During his Boy Scout service, he was honored with election to the Order of the Arrow. Don was a member of the Port Clinton VFW Post 2480, American Legion Post 162, and Elks Lodge #32, both in Marion.
Shortly after joining the fire department, Don met a young lady, Patricia McGowan, who often walked to his station on Mark Street to use their telephone. He eventually got her to agree to a date, taking her to the Ohio Theater in Marion to see the movie Three Coins in the Fountain, and Pat has been the “love of his life” ever since. They were married on October 25, 1954, sharing sixty two years of marriage and lovingly raising three children: Tim, Rex and Jennifer.
A talented artist, Don loved wood carving and oil painting, making creative and special gifts for his family and friends. He also enjoyed tending to his vegetable and flower gardens every year.
Don was a very quiet, thoughtful man, and when he spoke everyone listened because he had something significant to say. He also had a heart of gold, always helping others however he could.
Don will be missed by his wife, Pat Coldwell of Marion; three children: Timothy (Karen) Coldwell of Delaware, Rex Coldwell of Marion, and Jennifer (John Robinson) Brown of Marion; three grandchildren: Tyler Coldwell, Adam Brown, and Nicholas (Sarah) Brown; three great-grandchildren: Talia, Katelyn and Aeiden Brown; a sister-in-law, Louise Coldwell; and numerous nieces and nephews.
Including his parents, Don was preceded in death by an infant child, June; and a brother, Everett Coldwell.
His family will greet friends from 4 – 7 p.m. on Tuesday, May 23, at the Snyder Funeral Homes, GUNDER/HALL Chapel, 347 W. Center St., Marion, where the Marion Fire Dept. Honor Guard will show respect to their past. Funeral services honoring his life will also be held there at 10:30 a.m. on Wednesday, with Celebrant Steve deWeber officiating. Burial with military honors provided by the Marion County United Veterans Council will follow in St. Mary’s Cemetery.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Boy Scouts of America, 1310 Mt. Vernon Ave., Marion, OH 43302, or to Kindred Hospice, 1199 Delaware Ave., #102A, Marion, OH 43302.
Snyder Funeral Homes of Marion are honored to have been chosen to serve Don’s family and your favorite memories and condolences may be shared with them via www.SnyderFuneralHomes.com.