Marushak, Donald R.
Donald R. Marushak, 72, of Whitehall, PA passed away peacefully, surrounded by his loving family Wednesday, March 12, 2014 at his home. Born in Allentown, PA, he was the son of the late Joseph and Anna (Holubowsky) Marushak. He was the husband of 44 years to Bernadette R. (Ruggiero) Marushak. Donald was a graduate of Whitehall High School. He went on to further his education, earning a bachelor's degree in education from Kutztown University and then a master's degree in biology from the University of Michigan
. He taught science at both Allen and Dieruff high schools for several years. At Dieruff, he founded the "Swamp Stompers", a club dedicated to biology, conservation, and wildlife study. He also started the school's environmental park and taught Dieruff's first environmental science class. In recognition of his mentorship of students at Dieruff, he was named Pennsylvania Science Teacher of the Year in 1968. In 1970, he was hired as Environmental Programs Coordinator by the City of Allentown and later served as the Superintendent of Parks for 20 years, before retiring in 1997. During his tenure as parks superintendent, Donald oversaw the development and expansion of numerous parks, such as Buck Boyle Park, Keck Park, Lehigh Parkway, Roosevelt Park, and Trout Creek Park. He was also involved in the acquisition of open space land at Lehigh Mountain and South Mountain. He worked closely with Phil and Muriel Berman on the installation of dozens of public art works and led the construction of the first Lights in the Parkway at Lehigh Parkway. After retiring from the parks department, Donald went to work for Mayfair in Allentown as the Executive Director from 1997 to 1999. He then worked as a consultant to Urban Research and Development Corporation in Bethlehem. He later returned to teaching, first at Whitehall High School and then at Lehigh Carbon Community College, where he taught biology for the past 10 years. He was a member of St. Elizabeth Catholic Church, Whitehall and a former Lector, more recently attending Holy Trinity Catholic Church, Whitehall. An avid outdoorsman, Donald was a past Deputy Fish Warden for the Pennsylvania Fish Commission. Survivors: Surviving along with his wife Bernadette, a son - Adam Marushak of Pittsburgh, PA - as well as an aunt and several cousins. Services: A public memorial service will be planned and announced in the near future. Committal will be private and at the convenience of the family. Arrangements have been entrusted to the Schisler Funeral Home, 2119 Washington Ave. Northampton, PA. 18067. Contributions: Contributions: May be made to: Wildlands Conservancy C/O the funeral home. Online condolences may be offered to the family at: www.schislerfuneralhomes.com