Latrobe veteran recalled as 'epitome' of a provider
Donald Weiers was a steelworker who was a rock to his family.
“He was the epitome of that guy you see in the steel mill, providing for his family,” his son Louis Weiers said. “He worked hard, played hard, loved hard.”
Mr. Weiers worked at Timken Latrobe Steel, as a roller and in other jobs, for more than 44 years. He also was active with the United Steelworkers local. But neither his job nor his union involvement kept him from being a good family man, his son said.
“He instilled in us a true blue-collar work ethic – you work hard and take care of your family. He didn't just say that — he did it,” he said.
Donald E. Weiers of Latrobe died Wednesday, Oct. 18, 2017, at UPMC Shadyside, Pittsburgh. He was 82.
Born in Latrobe on May 12, 1935, he was a son of the late John Weiers and Rosella (Upholster) Weiers. He graduated from Latrobe High School in 1953 and went straight to work at the steel mill.
In 1957, he was drafted into the Army. He served for two years in Europe and then resumed his job at Latrobe Steel. Years later, he returned to Europe on projects for Timken.
Mr. Weiers was devoted to his job and even more devoted to his family, his son said.
“His family was everything to him. ... He was our sole provider. He had a regular shift, but he also did a lot of double shifts,” Weiers said. “I'm not sure he ever took a sick day. His record of attendance was unbelievable. He'd drag himself there if he had to.”
The only time he ever took off work was when he was diagnosed with cancer, Weiers said.
Mr. Weiers' roots in Latrobe were deep, and his pride in the community colored everything he did, his son said.
“He was born here. He grew up here, married here, went to church here,” he said. “He was very proud of Latrobe and its institutions.”
After retirement in 1997, Mr. Weiers got more involved in his hobbies, especially hunting, fishing and camping. He especially enjoyed taking his boat to Lake Erie and fishing for walleye. One of his favorite vacation spots, after his hunting cabin in Potter County, was Kelleys Island on the west side of Lake Erie, his son said.
“His last trip on the boat was a couple months ago with his granddaughter. It was a great way (for him) to spend time with us,” Weiers said.
Mr. Weiers was preceded in death by his wife, Laura Mae Trongo Weiers.
He is survived by three children, Louis J. Weiers of Evans City, Gretchen C. Weiers of Latrobe, and Don T. Weiers of Latrobe; and two grandchildren.
Friends will be received from 2 to 4 and 6 to 8 p.m. Sunday at Hartman-Graziano Funeral Home, 1500 Ligonier St., Latrobe. Military honors accorded by the Latrobe-Derry Veterans Honor Guard will be held at 9:15 a.m. Monday at the funeral home, followed by a funeral Mass at 10 a.m. Monday at Holy Family Church, 1200 Ligonier St., Latrobe.
Interment will follow in St. Vincent Cemetery.