DONALD RICHARD DONCH
July 6, 1934
August 23, 2020
Donald Richard Donch left this earthly realm Sunday, August 23, 2020.
Don was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on July 6, 1934 to Charles and Olga Donch. The steel mills dominated Pittsburgh at that time and Don learned the value of hard work by watching his father go to the mill to work day after day. Some of Don's favorite stories were of growing up in Pittsburgh with his two brothers and sister. Don grew to be a life-long loyal (and extremely critical) fan of all of Pittsburgh's major sports franchises, the Steelers in particular.
Don attended and graduated from Langley High School where he also participated in various sports. Don was an incredibly gifted athlete and he developed a relationship with sports that would last throughout his life. Many folks said he was one of the best all-around athletes they ever met. You name it, he was competitive and excelled at: baseball, football, bowling, golf, tennis, billiards and pool, even darts. It is safe to say that golf ended up being the game he loved most. Getting together with his older brother later in life was always centered around the links.
In 1951, Don joined the Marine Corps at age 17. Stationed at Parris Island, S.C., he made the Parris Island baseball team as starting second baseman. Although approached by the Boston Red Sox, Don married and began a career devoted to the Newspaper business working for publications such as the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, the Santa Ana Register, Miami Herald and the Colorado Springs Gazette Telegraph.
Don cherished family and was especially close to his children and grand-children. He was fortunate to live the last 20 years of his life sharing a home with his grandsons. Don's face always brightened into a big smile when small children were around. (His "magic" hat trick was famous in certain exclusive circles.) His influence on us will remain. He made and kept many friends of all ages and backgrounds throughout his long life.
Don is survived by his son, Charles (Sally) Donch; daughter, Laura (John) McCoskey; son, Michael (Marianne) Donch; stepson T.J. (Donna) Larson; 8 grandchildren and 3 great-grandchildren. Don was preceded in death by his parents, Charles Carson Donch and Olga Mae Vess; by his brothers, Charles and Merle Donch and sister, Ann Jacksic.
Published in The Gazette on Sep. 16, 2020.