Self-taught woodworker from Apollo enjoyed staying active, eating healthy
In 1921, when Donald Bayne was born, Warren G. Harding was president, the first religious radio broadcast aired on Pittsburgh’s KDKA, the first Miss America pageant was held in Atlantic City, N.J., and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier was dedicated at Arlington National Cemetery.
Mr. Bayne attributed his long life to staying active and eating healthy, said his daughter, Donna Schimizzi.
“He’d have an apple a day because he believed in that saying, ‘An apple a day keeps the doctor away,’ ” she said. “He wanted to live to 100. He kept telling people that.”
Donald F. Bayne, of Apollo, died Monday, July 1, 2019, at Murrysville Rehabilitation and Wellness Center. He was 98.
Born in Harmarville on April 13, 1921, he was the son of the late Andrew and Hazel (Crawford) Bayne.
He served in the Army Air Corps during World War II, earning the rank of sergeant.
“He never really spoke about being in the war or in the service,” his daughter said.
Prior to retiring in 1986, he worked in the coal mining industry – first as a coal miner and later as a surveyor.
Mr. Bayne worked at the Harmar Coal Co. in Harmarville, Allegheny County, and the Barking coal mine, both captive mines of the Wheeling-Pittsburgh Mining Co. Harmarville was owned by Consol when it closed in 1980.
After some coursework, he got out of the mines and took an office job as a surveyor, Schimizzi said.
After his retirement, he stayed active with gardening and woodworking.
Schimizzi said her father was self-taught as a woodworker and had his own wood shop, with power tools, in his basement.
“He made anything out of wood that he could. He made curios, lamps, tables, candlesticks. He made cedar chests and big chests. It was a hobby – he just liked to make stuff,” she said. “I’d paint stuff for him and stain stuff for him.”
Schimizzi described her father as soft-spoken and kind. His one wish was to live to 100. He ate healthy and stayed physically active. The only medicine he took was a pill for his heart, she said.
Mr. Bayne was preceded in death by his wife, Leafa Pearl (Roney) Bayne.
He is survived by his daughter, Donna Schimizzi and her husband, Ray, of Apollo; three grandchildren; and several great-grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren.
Memorial contributions may be made to Murrysville Rehabilitation and Wellness Center Activity Fund, 3300 Logan Ferry Road, Murrysville, PA 15668.
Funeral arrangements were handled by the Vaia Funeral Home, Delmont.
Stephen Huba is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Stephen at 724-850-1280, [email protected] or via Twitter .