Don Joseph Donatelli passed away Saturday, August 19, 2017, at home surrounded by his loving family.
He was born December 23, 1944 in Oklahoma City, OK, the eldest son of Herman and Catherine Donatelli, both deceased.
He was raised in Aspinwall, Pittsburgh, and attended Catholic schools and graduated from North Catholic High School in 1963. He attended Virginia Technical Institute and graduated with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Mechanical Engineering in 1967.
He was recruited by the former Talon, Inc. of Meadville and worked there for five years in their design engineering department while taking night classes at Penn State Behrend for a Masters Degree. Having always wanted to start a business, he and fellow engineer Rodney J. Axtell decided to open an auto part store with $500 cash, no experience, and help from the Ashton Brothers who were in the warehousing business. The first North Street Auto Supply opened November 7, 1971. Rodney Axtell soon wanted out but Don pursued and eventually built the new 10,000 square foot facility on Mead Avenue, and in ten years expanded to 16,000 square feet with double decking. The business grew very successful and he always appreciated the community's support giving back through the Thurston Classic and the 50's Do Woop Car Show, among other things. As a side light, he also opened North Street Auto Supply in Franklin and during its five years of existence it was pulling revenues in at 50% of Meadville. Unfortunately the store burned to the ground on Halloween, 1985. He sold the business on March 23, 2000 and worked for several years with the new buyers. Then he took early retirement. He and his wife, Cathy, traveled the world by cruising, by land tours and traveled 45 of the states from the eyes of his motor home. He also loved going to car races including the Sprint Cars of Johnny Beaber to the Indy 500 and the Brickyard 400 among others.
In addition to his loving wife, Catherine McCaughtry Donatelli, survivors include two daughters Lisa M. Anantarow of Pittsburgh, Kara M. Donatelli and her husband Brent Cray of Lubbock, TX, one grandson Kaden J. Anantarow, two brothers James Donatelli and Paul Donatelli, both of Pittsburgh, two sisters in law Mary Ellen Axtell, Carol McCaughtry, two brothers in law William M. McCaughtry, Rodney J. Axtell. Also surviving are nephews and nieces David M. and Deborah Gibbs, David Lee Gibbs, Brenda Marzka, Lori, Greg and Alexander Davis, Lisa Jean Cone, Malichi and Zachara Murphy, and numerous others.
In addition to his parents, Don was preceded in death by a nephew Frederic P. Stark and a sister-in-law Marcelline J. Gibbs.
Family and friends are invited to call from 2-4 and 6-8 on Tuesday, August 22, 2017 at STEPHEN P. MIZNER FUNERAL HOME & CREMATION SERVICES, INC., 404 CHESTNUT ST., MEADVILLE, where a Funeral Service will be held on Wednesday at 11:00 AM with Rev. Rodney Johnson, Pastor of Church of the Nazarene, officiating.
Don will be laid to rest in New Lebanon Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Hospice of Crawford County, 766 Liberty Street, or Humane Society, 11012 Kennedy Hill Road, both in Meadville, PA 16335.
Share a memory or condolence at www.miznerfuneralhome.com
Published on August 20, 2017