Donald J. Distel, age 89 of Marion, passed away Thursday, August 27, 2020 at Riverside Methodist Hospital in Columbus.

Donald was born November 29, 1930 in Tiffin, the son of Charles Jacob and Bertha Gertrude (Kuhm) Distel. He was educated in Tiffin, graduating from Calvert High School and then enrolled into Heidelberg University. In 1951 he left college to enlist in the United States Navy, proudly serving his country during the Korean War.

On May 31, 1954 Donald was united in marriage to Ellen M. Omlor.

After the war, Donald attended the Cleveland Engineering School and then went to work as a Senior Project Engineer for Marion Steel, retiring with 32 years of service and then continued 5 more years on a part-time basis. In retirement, Donald worked as a greeter for the Gunder/Hall & Folk Funeral Home. His kindness and love of people made him perfect to be a comforting presence of those he served.

Donald was active in his community. He was a faithful member of St. Mary Catholic Church, Fourth Degree Knights of Columbus, VFW Post 7201, Korea War Veterans Association, Marion County Alumni, St. Vincent de Paul, Marion Noon Kiwanis and was a loyal fan of the Cleveland Browns.

Donald’s proudest achievement in life was his family. When his girls were in school he was their biggest cheerleader in all they did. When they had children of their own Donald was thrilled to be a grandfather and do the same for his grandchildren. He was a loyal and kind man that did business on a handshake. He often said that great men are hard to come by. He led by example.

He is survived by his devoted wife of 66 years, Ellen M. Distel; daughters: Leslie Elaine (Ronald) Thiel and Maria Lynn Distel-Cronley; grandchildren: Kyle (Melissa) Shirley, Matthew Shirley, Chad Thiel, Jenny Gualtieri, Lilly Cronley, Raymond Cronley, and Sandra (Joseph) Pasquinelli; and great-grandchildren: Evelyn Pasquinelli, Ava, Aubrey and Lucas Gualtieri.

Donald is preceded in death by his parents and siblings: Thomas Distel, Charles Distel, Mary Lou Brickner and Marjorie DeRan.

Visitation will be Monday, August 31, 2020 at Snyder Funeral Homes, Gunder/Hall Chapel, 347 West Center St., Marion from 5PM to 7PM; Mass of Christian Burial will be Tuesday at St. Mary Catholic Church, 251 North Main St., at 10:30AM Marion with Fr. Thomas Buffer officiating; Burial will be in St. Mary’s Cemetery.

If so desired, donations may be made to St. Mary’s Grade School or St. Vincent DePaul Food Pantry.

The Snyder Funeral Homes are honored to be serving the Distel family; condolences may be expressed to the family by visiting