Donald A. Marenchin, a 10-year resident of Jefferson Township, formerly of Hermitage, passed away at 2:57 a.m. Friday, May 24, 2013, in St. Elizabeth Health Center, Youngstown, after a period of failing health. He was 78.
Mr. Marenchin was born Sept. 30, 1934, in Sharon, a son of John and Mary Popyack Mar-enchin.
He was a lifelong area resident and a 1952 graduate of Hickory High School, Hermitage.
Don served with the U.S. Army from 1954 to 1957 as a military policeman in France and with the U.S. Army Reserves from 1957 to 1962.
Following his honorable discharge from the Army, he returned home and was a machinist at the former Sharon Transformer Division of Westinghouse Electric Corp. for nearly two years.
He then became a policeman for Hickory Township, now Hermitage, in 1961, rising to the rank of detective and investigator, until he was elected in 1980 as the Mercer County sheriff. He served as sheriff for two four-year terms and as a deputy sheriff for his successor, Bill Romine, until retiring in 1999.
Don was a member of Christ Lutheran Church, Sharon.
As a Free and Accepted Mason, he was a member and past master of Shenango Valley Lodge 810, Hermitage, and belonged to the Knights Templar, Zem Zem Shrine and Scottish Rite’s New Castle Consistory.
He was a member of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) National Academy and a former member of Fraternal Order of Police and American Legion Post 432, Wheatland.
A licensed pilot and instructor, he was a member of the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA). In addition to flying, boating and traveling, Don enjoyed spending time with his family, particularly his grandchildren and great-grandchildren, and restoration projects. He restored a Dodge M-37 military vehicle, a Piper J3 Cub airplane and a 23-foot Rineal cabin cruiser boat. He also built a Whitman Tail Wind airplane in his garage.
His first wife, the former Patricia Ann Rankin, whom he married Nov. 20, 1954, passed away Sept. 25, 2000.
Surviving are: his wife, the former Patricia L. Knappenberger, whom he married Dec. 19, 2004; a daughter, Michelle Romian, Hermitage; a son, Mark Marenchin and his wife Zan, Savannah, Tenn.; five grandchildren, Zachary and Racheal Marenchin; Taylor and Trey Romian; and Aiden Dosch; two great-grandchildren, Jodon and Dean; two sisters, Mary Ann Covert and her husband Lester, Hermitage; and Thelma Voshell and her husband Sam, Wichita, Kan.; two brothers, John Marenchin and his wife Julie, and Ernie Marenchin and his wife DeDe, all Hermitage; and several nieces and nephews.
He also leaves two stepchildren, Erin Marks, Mercer; and Gabriel Marks and his wife Stacey, Homer City, Pa.; his mother- and father-in-law, Jean and Alvin Knappenberger; and brothers- and sisters-in-law, Tom and Carol Knappenberger, and Nancy and Keith Hamilton, all Knox, Pa.
Besides his first wife, Don was preceded in death by his parents; two sisters, Dorothy Newell and Betty Henderson; and a brother, George Rabatin.
The family suggests memorial contributions be made to American Diabetes Association, Box 11454, Alexandria, VA 22312.
Donald A., 78, Jefferson Township, formerly of Hermitage.
Calling hours: 4 to 7 p.m. Monday (5-27-13) and 9 a.m. to time of service Tuesday (5-28-13) in J. BRADLEY McGONIGLE FUNERAL HOME and CREMATORY Inc., 1090 E. State St., Sharon, with a Masonic service at 7 p.m. by Free and Accepted Masons Lodge 810, Hermitage. Friends may e-mail condolences by visiting www.McGonigleFuneralHomeandCrematory.com
Service: Funeral service at 10 a.m. Tuesday in the funeral home chapel.
Interment: Morefield Cemetery, Hermitage, with military honors rendered by the West Middlesex VFW Post 6233, Wheatland American Legion Post 432, and Farrell VFW Post 5286 Honor Guard.