Donald Crean

October 15, 1934 - December 31, 2019

Visitation: Friday, January 3rd from 2-4 & 6-8PM, Devlin Funeral Home, 806 Perry Hwy. Pgh, PA 15229

Service: Private

“Life begins and ends with family.”

Donald Edward Crean, 85, of Ross Township, passed away on December 31, 2019. Born Oct. 15, 1934 in Amherst, N.Y, to the late Lillian (Aiple) and George Crean. Brother of the late Robert G. Crean and the late Dorothy Farrell.

Don graduated from Cornell University, Ithaca, N.Y., in 1956, earning a Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial and Labor Relations. Following his graduation, he enlisted in the U.S. Army and served active duty at Fort Benning, Ga., until 1958, when he became a U.S. Army reservist.

He married his beloved wife Mary Patricia Watt on Dec. 28, 1957 and devoted his life to her. Sadly, she preceded him in death on April 22, 1980. She was his true partner and confidante.

In 1958, he entered a management training program with Loblaw’s in Buffalo, N.Y. This was the beginning of his successful and lifelong career in Personnel. He followed his Loblaw’s tenure with increasingly responsible positions in the field, moving to JW Clement’s personnel department in 1962. He joined Joy Manufacturing in Buffalo in 1967, and stayed with the company through moves from Buffalo to New Philadelphia, Ohio, and eventually to Pittsburgh where he served as Personnel Manager. He joined Mine Safety Appliances in Pittsburgh in 1975, where he worked until 1994 when he retired as Vice President, Human Resources.

After his successful career, Don approached his retirement with enthusiasm. In 1994, he moved to his newly constructed beach house, which he designed, on Figure Eight Island on coastal North Carolina. The next year, he obtained his captain’s license and built a fishing boat charter business called Stargazer Charters LTD, which he ran until June 1998. He enjoyed the opportunities to pursue his interests and hobbies – reading, fishing, boating, hunting, watching sports and attending the ballet. But none of these activities were as important as his beloved family. In 2007, he returned to the Pittsburgh area to be closer to his children and grandchildren.

Don often said that life begins and ends with family. Although his mortal life may have ended, he will live on in his family. They include his children and their spouses: Barbara Lynn (Kenneth C.) Graf; Kathryn Mary (Ernest A., Jr.) Toth; Molly Ann (Thomas) Crooks; Donald Edward (Dawn Renzelman) Crean, Jr.; and Michael David (Megan Burge) Crean. He is also survived by his grandchildren: Laura (Matthew) Harshberger; Kenneth Graf Jr.; Melissa Graf; Kelly Toth; Randy Crooks; Kevin Crooks; Paige Crean; Nikki Crean; Hazel Crean; and Josephine Crean. Don also leaves behind a great-granddaughter, Erica Harshberger.

Don was immensely proud of all of his family. He endeavored to teach them endurance when life was difficult, and celebrated their milestones and achievements.

Charitable contributions in Don’s name may be made to Cornell University – School of Industrial and Labor Relations (, Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre (, St. Jude Children’s Hospital ( or UPMC Senior Communities Benevolent Fund (

Family and friends are invited to celebrate his life.

2-4 PM
6-8 PM
Devlin Funeral Home
806 Perry Highway, Pittsburgh, PA 15229

Christ Our Redeemer Catholic Cemetery and Mausoleum
204 Cemetery Lane
Pittsburgh, PA 15237

Don’s family humbly asks you to kindly remember: “Life Begins and Ends With Family.” Cherish your family today and every day!

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Guest Book Signatures

  • Jack W. Milligan

    I had the wonderful experience of working directly for Don at Joy Manufacturing in New Philadelphia, Ohio. He was a great mentor, taught me well, and imprinted upon me what a “great HR pro” can do to make a company (any company) a great place to work. I am forever grateful he took me under his wing. He will be missed.

  • Pat Fitzpatrick

    Dear Molly – I see where you get your amazingness from — your dad — especially in love of family and in the sharing of the same career field! He starts the new year in the arms of Our Lord. May you have peace and comfort in this knowledge and in the many wonderful memories you shared. God bless you and keep you as you say your Earthly goodbyes and Heavenly hellos. Fondly, Pat

  • Robert Doak

    To the entire Crean family, I wish you all the best during this difficult time. Knowing your Dad, I’m sure he wouldn’t want you to mourn for too long, but instead raise a glass for a toast to all of the fond memories you all shared. My thoughts and prayers go out to all of you.


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