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Donald Ward Van Dyne

June 8, 1926 November 14, 2020
Donald Ward Van Dyne
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Obituary for Donald Ward Van Dyne

Donald Ward Van Dyne. 94 of Pine Grove West Virginia passed away on November 14, 2020 . Donald was born in the small town of Pine Grove on June 8, 1926 the son of Joseph A. Van Dyne and Rhoda A. (Knisley) Van Dyne.
He attended grade school in Pine Grove and graduated from Pine Grove High School in 1944 where he participated in every sport available to the then 17 year old, walking miles to and from his remote home on the outskirts of town. Immediately following graduation, and almost 18, he enlisted in the US Navy. Following boot camp, he was deployed to serve on the Landing Ship USS LSM (R) – 192 during World War II which was assigned to the Asiatic Pacific theater. He served as a gunner in the fleet onboard the military ship. At various times throughout his enlistment, he enjoyed leave at Pearl Harbor on the island of Oahu in Honolulu, Hawaii. His favorite pastime during leave was meeting up with baseball legends such as Ted Williams who was also in the US Navy in Honolulu at the time and “putting on the glove”. Later, on leave in Southern California which he loved, he explored the surrounding area of Los Angeles near San Pedro Harbor visiting the Hollywood Canteen and The Hollywood Palladium, actually “hitching a ride” with film star Gary Cooper. A story he enjoyed recounting.
Following the war, he attended Salem College in Salem, WV. Soon after he began working for the Hope Natural Gas Company in Hastings, WV for a brief period and then began employment at Union Carbide also in the Hastings area.
On July 7, 1948 he was united in marriage to Barbara Jane Lowe at the Lowe home in Pine Grove, WV. The couple honeymooned in Buckeye Lake, Ohio soon after. Upon transferal by Union Carbide in 1964, the couple briefly resided in St. Albans, WV. In 1965 the couple returned to their home area of Pine Grove whereupon he began employment on January 1st, 1966 at Mobay Chemical Corporation in New Martinsville, WV until his retirement in 1991. Throughout the 1960s and 70s he had his own side business, a gasoline station, and also worked for Electrolux.
Donald was active in the local community of Pine Grove serving as the Town Recorder. He was instrumental in the acquisition of the land for the Valley High School football field in the early 1960s. His absolute skill and passion for a variety of sports including football, baseball, and basketball manifested in his coaching of elementary school sports throughout the 1950s and 1960s. In later years he enjoyed golfing, as recreation, and fishing. His true love of sports never waned as a spectator. He was devoted to college and professional sports throughout his lifetime, notably The West Virginia Mountaineers and The Pittsburgh Steelers. One of his greatest joys was the comradery of his fellow workers and dear friends at the Mobay Chemical Corporation in New Martinsville, WV which continued even after retirement. In retirement he loved to garden and care for all creatures great and small. Although many of his close friends and family were Republicans, he was a proud liberal pro labor lifelong Democrat.
Donald was a member of the Pine Grove Christian Church where he taught Sunday School and served as a deacon.
He is preceded in death by his parents, older brother Joseph Duane Van Dyne, older sister Edna Ruth Lemasters, younger brother William Stanley, and youngest brother Merrell Kent (who died in infancy).
He is survived by his wife Barbara Jane, and his three children, Mark Lindell Van Dyne and his wife Ellen of Middlebourne, WV, Matthew Duane Van Dyne of Los Angeles, CA, and Lisa Ann Van Dyne of New Martinsville, WV; three grandchildren, Kacie Van Dyne and James A. Haga of Glenville, WV, Jessica (Van Dyne) Masters and her husband Robert of Middlebourne, WV, and Wesley Van Dyne and his wife Tiffany; three great grandchildren, Chase, Ryley, and Sydney Van Dyne all of Middlebourne, WV.
A memorial service is pending due to Covid-19.

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