Donald Ray Hertler, Sr., age 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 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.
His family invites you to attend calling hours Saturday, November 30th, 4-8pm & a Celebration of Coach Hertler's Life on Sunday, December 1st, 2:00pm with both scheduled at North Canton Hoover High School gymnasium, 525 7th Street, North Canton, OH 44720. A private burial will be held on Monday, December 2nd, at North Canton Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts may be sent to North Canton Sideliners' Club, PO Box 2184, North Canton, OH 44720 Arrangements under the direction of Karlo-Libby Funeral Home.