In Memory

Donald E. Dershem

Donald E. Dershem

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09/21/16 01:13 PM #1    

Ray Shaner


OTTAWA — Donald E. "Dersh" Dershem, age 73, was called into the presence of the Lord at 12:36 AM Saturday, September 17, 2016, at Lima Memorial Health System, surrounded by the love of his family.

Don was born March 12, 1943 in Lima, to the late Ross F. and Gwendolyn (Eley) Dershem. On August 16, 1997 he married Rebecca A. "Becky" (Laubenthal) Dershem who survives in Ottawa.

Don was a 1961 graduate of Lima Senior High School. He was a proud veteran of the United States Army, serving in Vietnam. Don worked for Mohler's Flowers in many capacities for over 50 years and was responsible for the Go Bucks! on the roof of the flower shop. He enjoyed music, gardening, fishing and tinkering in his garage, "if Don couldn't fix it, it couldn't be fixed." His greatest joy was spending time with his family, especially his grandchildren. Don was a quiet gentle man who left an imprint on the hearts of many and he had a smile for everyone he met. He was an avid fan of The Ohio State Buckeyes and was a member of the Kerener - Slusser American Legion Post #63, Ottawa, Ohio.

He was blessed with a family who loved him dearly, four children, Brian M. (Tabitha) Dershem of Cincinnati, Kevin A. (Renee) Dershem of Galloway, Keith E. (Jennifer) Dershem of Newport, KY and Jeanna P. Bidlack of La Habra Heights, CA; five grandchildren, Brenna Dershem, Owen Dershem, Ian Dershem, Michael Dershem and Annie Dershem and brother, Leon (Jamie) Dershem of Kalamazoo, MI.

Other survivors include his mother-in-law, Mary Ann Laubenthal of Ottawa; four brothers-inlaw, Rick (Marsha) Laubenthal, Ned (Donna) Laubenthal, Al (Lynn) Laubenthal and Bruce (Stacey) Laubenthal; sister-in-law, Lisa (Rod) Seimet all of Ottawa and his extended family at Mohler's Flowers.

He is preceded in death by father-in-law, Lewis "Boz" Laubenthal.

Funeral Services will begin 11:00 AM Wednesday, September 21, 2016 at CHILES - LAMAN FUNERAL AND CREMATION SERVICES, SHAWNEE CHAPEL. Pastor Rob White will officiate the service. Burial will follow in Allentown Cemetery. Military honors will be provided by the United States Army and VFW #1275.

The family will receive friends from 4:00 - 8:00 PM Tuesday, September 20, at the funeral home.

Memorial contributions may be made to the American Heart Association , 1701 Woodlands Dr., Suite 200, Maumee, Ohio 43537 or Putnam County Home Care and Hospice, 575 Ottawa - Glandorf Road #3, Ottawa, Ohio 45875.

09/24/16 02:02 PM #2    

Richard Greer (Greer)

I was really shocked and saddened when learning about Don’s recent passing . . . have really been wrestling with this loss.

During youth years Don lived on McKibben St., one block south of where I lived on Haller Street. We frequently walked together to and from Irving Elementary Schools (both Grand Ave./N. Elizabeth St. and Metcalf St./Tremont Ave.) in our early years and occasionally did the same when attending Central Jr. High. During our years at Lima Senior High, Don acquired an early 1950’s Studebaker Commander and occasionally provided me with transportation to school – that was back in the day when Meadow Gold delivered milk in glass bottles via horse-drawn wagons (remember those?).

On a particularly bright sunny morning, from my front porch awaiting Don’s arrival, I saw him slowly turn east and uphill onto Haller Street to pick me up for school.  What I didn’t realize was his being met with the glare of bright morning sunshine. Being blinded by sunshine, he rammed into the back of a stopped horse- drawn Meadow Gold Dairies milk wagon. I saw it happen and blurted out “Oh, crap” (or a similar colloquialism), and took off running down the street to help.  The milkman was settling down the rearing horse.  Don was OK and out of his car, albeit a little shaken.  Best I remember, spilled milk from broken bottles and wagon damages amounted to $16.00 at that time (or about $129.00 in current dollars value).  To this date I don’t know what kept that horse from bolting up the street.  From that time on, if I rode with Don to LSH, I walked the one block distance (via an alley) to Don’s house.

Don and I routinely walked to our homes for lunch during our Irving Elementary School days (both Grand Ave. & N. Elizabeth Streets and Tremont Ave. & Metcalf St.).  Those were great times when you chattered on with connected friends – not like today’s kids (and adults) that are glued to smart phone activity. I really liked and connected with Don.

When attending the “old” Irving School during lunch hour. Don and I attempted  to cross Grand Ave. (busy, busy street).   I first stepped out and was blindsided by the fender of a 1940’s car. I was flat on the street, stunned , but OK.. He helped me up, put his arm around me as we walked home for lunch.

At another time during “new” Irving School days, Don and I were walking home for lunch when his father, who drove a dump truck, stopped and picked him up to take him the rest of the way home. Don’s father died just a few days after that. Best I remember, he died from a heart attack. Don really missed his dad and shared his feelings about it – my heart really went out to him. His loss made me better appreciate still having my father.

During the late 1960’s I travelled from Kentucky for family matters in Lima and to visit Don at home.  We talked about old times and shared different military experiences. He spent time in Viet Nam. I spent most of my time in Key West, Florida at a U.S. Navy Divers School. What a contrast of experiences and how fortunate I felt not to have endured what he went through.

Condolences are extended to Don’s family and friends.

I raise my glass in toast to Don Dershem. God bless you, my friend – you are truly missed.

Dick Greer

09/26/16 11:11 AM #3    

David E. Bowers

Dick, thanks for the beautifully written tribute to Donald Dershem.  I remember him and his curly hair well!  I look back on Irving School and our classmates with great fondness.  We were indeed fortunate to be children at a time when walking to and from school was normal; our neighborhood was safe and no one worried about us. I too have great memories of enjoyable walks with friends, too many of whom are gone.  Thanks for reminding me of my good fortune in life.   Best wishes.   Betty Keller Bowers


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