Donald G McGhee, 96, passed away peacefully Wednesday, Feb. 2, 2022. Born Jan. 6, 1926, Don was a lifelong resident of Springdale and graduated from Springdale High School, Class of 1944. He served in the Navy in the South Pacific theatre of operations during World War II, fighting in the Battle of Okinawa and the Liberation of the Philippines. After serving his country, Don returned to Springdale and worked at PPG in Creighton. There he met the love of his life, Elaine "Dolly" Dominick and they married on April 17, 1946. He attended West Liberty Teachers College, the first person in his family to go to college, while working full time and playing football. Don returned to his birthplace and graduated from the University of Pittsburgh with both a Bachelor's and Master's degree in education. He began his life in education and spent his entire professional life at the Allegheny Valley School District. Starting out as a teacher, then moving on to administration, Don joined his love of teaching, service to his community, and his gift of leadership into a remarkable career. Don spent many hours as an athletic coach and official, giving much of his time to summer recreation programs working with young people. Within the district as Allegheny Valley Superintendent, Don was involved in the planning of Acmetonia Primary School, renovation projects at Colfax Upper Elementary School and Springdale High School, and the introduction of technology education. He believed in building a quality staff and enabled a number of well-known administrators across Allegheny County to begin their careers at Allegheny Valley School District. Don also remained very active in the Springdale Veterans Association, American Legion, and Veterans of Foreign Wars, serving as a commander in the organizations. After retirement, Don became an avid trout and steelhead trout fly fisherman. He truly enjoyed tying flies and fly fishing. Additionally, Don loved to garden and preserve vegetables for the coming winter season. As a family man, Don was a strong, kind, loving, and supportive husband and father. His knowledge and guidance continue to be the foundation of his family. His personal legacy was all about life and living and caring about people and our world during our lifetime. When you're alive, you have a unique opportunity to help others in some way that is meaningful. He was purpose driven, a selfless giver with unconditional love, and he made his life by what he gave. Don was predeceased by his loving wife, Elaine; a grandson, Jason Estvanik; and great grandson Jordan Puskar. He is survived by four children, Don McGhee (Valerie McGhee), Pam Vanderau (John Vanderau), Patty Cole (William Cole), David McGhee (Gloria Carlos Trejo) and their families; 15 grandchildren, Christian, Evan and Nicole, and Alex and Andre McGhee, Nathan and Sydney, and Phillip and Whitney Vanderau, Sahah and Eric Johnson, Jody and Marcia Cole, Joshua Cole, Amanda and Mike Puskar, Justin Cole and fiancee, Lexi Rogowyi, Jared and Jordan (Robertson) Cole, and Donald, Harrison and Emily McGhee; three great-grandchildren, Tristan and Samantha Cole, McKenna Puskar, and Soren Johnson and Sutton Vanderau. Friends will be received from 2 to 8 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 6, 2022, at CHARLES B. JARVIE SPRINGDALE FUNERAL HOME INC., 801 Pittsburgh St., Springdale, PA 15144. Funeral services will be private on Monday with interment to follow in Springdale Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions in his name may be made to Springdale Veteran's Association. www.jarviefuneralhome.com
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