Donald K. Chesnut

Burial Date:

September 1, 2017

Birth & Death Date:

February 6, 1934 - March 17, 2018

Funeral Home:

Riddle Funeral Home (Directions)


Ridge Hill Memorial Park - Graveside Service (Directions)

Donald K. Chesnut 83, of Vermilion, died suddenly Friday, March 17, 2017, at MetroHealth Medical Center. He was born February 6, 1934 in Lorain.
Don was a graduate of the Vermilion High School Class of 1953. He served in the U. S. Armed Forces Naval Reserves. He graduated from Heidelberg College with a bachelor's degree in Psychology and Sociology continuing his education at Bowling Green University, Western Reserve Graduate School of Social Work, and Oberlin Theological Seminary.
Don had many unique occupations. First, he worked at the family business, Chesnut Appliance Store, in downtown Lorain where he worked by his father's side learning the skills of the trade. He worked to put himself through college at Ford, US Steel, Tiffin Mental Hospital, and National Machinery. After college graduation, he was a Youth Probation Officer in the Cleveland Flats for the Cuyahoga County Juvenile Court. He helped organize the Erie County Juvenile Court and worked as a probation counselor. He then taught Industrial Arts and was a Guidance Counselor for Brookside High School. He worked at the family Vermilion Hardware store and was the Youth Minister at Vermilion U.C.C. Congregational Church. Don worked 25 years at Lithonia Downlighting as the facilities operations manager, retiring in 1999. He then
worked part time at Sattelight Electric.
Don dedicated his life to his family, the youth in the community and the historic preservation of Vermilion and the Lake Erie area. In 1967, he helped create Harbour Town 1837 Historic District. As a charter member and past president of the Board of Trustees for The Friends of Harbour Town 1837, he dedicated 50 years of community service to the development of the historical district of Harbour Town 1837 and its buildings. He established and served on the Vermilion Historic Design and Review Board. Don assisted creating the Erie and Lorain Counties Visitors Bureaus. He served as the secretary for the Lake Erie-Firelands Tourist Council. He was an active member of the Vermilion Nickel Plate Caboose restoration and Fireland Council of Historical Societies. Don loved to travel with his family as well as taking youth groups to see the world as a Delegation Leader for People to People to Europe, Australia and Washington D. C. He was a member of the Kelley's Island Lot Owners Assoc. and enjoyed
the family home on the island. He loved working and building with his hands and helping others. Don was always giving to his community and was very knowledgeable in community affairs especially the revitalization of downtown Vermilion.
He is survived by his wife and high school sweet heart, Diane ( Bailey ) Chesnut (61yrs); daughters, Deborah Hansen (Steven) of Vermilion and Denise Fahrney (Mark) of Huron; and grandsons, Matthew and Chaz Hansen.
He was preceded-in-death by his parents, Richard & Charlotte Chesnut; birth mother, Violet Chesnut; brothers, Robert, Richard; and sister, Bernice Gay.
Don asked the family to have a Celebration of Life in his honor. Please. join the family on Sunday, April 2, 2017 from 1 to 4 p.m. at the Vermilion on the Lake Club House at 3780 Edgewater Dr., Vermilion, Ohio as we celebrate Don's life with family and friends.
In 1990, Don chose to donate his body to the Cleveland Clinic for Medical Science Education program. Through this donation Don continues to give to others by making this important and lasting contribution to medical science.

Burial Location

Section: - D - Lot Number: 293 Space: 2


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