HERTLER, Donald Ray, Sr., 85, passed away September 25, 2013, in Canton, Ohio's Aultman Hospital, where he was surrounded with love by family and close friends.
Devoted son, brother, husband, father, grandfather, and friend, he touched the lives of countless students, colleagues, and families as a respected teacher and coach at North Canton Hoover High School from 1953 until his retirement in 1981.
Born May 9, 1928 in Bridgeport, Ohio, Don graduated from Bridgeport High School in 1946. He enlisted in the US Army in 1946, and entered Wittenberg College upon completion of his military service. Don received his bachelor's degree in Education in 1951. He began his teaching and coaching career in Marion, Ohio, and in 1953 he and his wife Nancy moved to North Canton to accept a teaching and coaching assignment. Together they raised their family of three daughters and one son in North Canton.
Don may be best remembered as North Canton Hoover's head football coach from 1960 to 1980; he never had a losing season. He was also Hoover's Athletic Director for 10 of those 20 years. In addition, Don served the City of North Canton from 1960 to 1967 as Director of Parks and Recreation.
He coached numerous all-star teams; ran sectional, district, and regional tournaments; was inducted into a host of Halls of Fame and Halls of Honor; and was a lifetime mentor to many. Over the years, Don received honors and awards for his contributions to school and community, including the re-naming of North Canton's Memorial Stadium to Don Hertler, Sr. Field in 2011. Don also served in leadership capacities (including church council and usher) at North Canton's Zion Lutheran Church.
Don is preceded in death by his parents, Christian and Doris Hertler; wife of 46 years, Nancy (d.1997); daughter Melinda (d. 2007); and wife of 11 years, Shirley (d. 2012).
Survivors include daughter, Rebecca Volkmann (husband, Stephen) of Worthington, OH; daughter, Susan VanVranken (husband, Thomas) of North Canton; son, Donald Hertler, Jr. (fiancee, Heather Maxwell) of North Canton; grandchildren, Jonathan and Benjamin VanVranken and Emily Volkmann; brothers, William (wife, Beverly), and James (wife, Jean deceased); many cousins, nieces and nephews; and countless beloved friends.
In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts may be sent to North Canton Sideliners' Club, PO Box 2184, North Canton, OH 44720.
A memorial service and calling hours will be held Thanksgiving weekend in North Canton; details to follow.
Arrangements under the direction of Karlo-Libby Funeral Home.