Dr. Donald E. Hirsch

Posted:  Wednesday, January 17, 2018 - 1:15pm

Donald Earl Hirsch died Dec. 27, 2017 in Arcadia, Oklahoma, at the age of 93, after a long and happy life.

Don was born in Erie, Pennsylvania, on Sept. 17, 1924, to Fred and Thora Hirsch. Don married his high school sweetheart and one and only love, Mary Alice von Buseck, in 1946. They were together until her death in 2009. Don is survived by their four children: Robert (Bob) and his wife, Elizabeth (Libby) of Overland Park, Kansas; Susan Glass of Arcadia, Oklahoma; Karl and his wife, Mary of Edmond, Oklahoma; and Donald (Don) Jr. and his wife, Mary Beth of Ft. Worth, Texas. Don is also survived by eleven grandchildren, nine great-grandchildren and two great-great-grandchildren.

Don attended the Penn State University and the University of Pittsburg, eventually earning his Ph.D. in chemical engineering. He worked for DuPont in Wilmington, Delaware, until taking a job as manager of the technical department of the American Potash and Chemical Company fertilizer plant in Trona, California, in 1961. Kerr McGee Chemical Company bought American Potash in 1968 and Don was transferred to Oklahoma City to serve as assistant to the president in charge of special projects. In 1981, Don went to work for International Minerals and Chemical Corporation (IMC) in Lakeland, Florida, from which he retired in 1992. Don was honored many times for his contributions to the phosphate and fertilizer industry. Don and Mary Alice traveled the country in their RV for many years, finally settling in Boothbay Harbor, Maine, where he remained until Mary Alice passed away. In 2010, Don moved to Edmond to be near family where he was a member of Southern Hills Christian Church.

Don was very proud of his military service during World War II. Don was already in college studying chemical engineering when he was drafted into the army. He was sent back to school to finish his degree and then was stationed at Los Alamos as part of the Manhattan Project. Don and Mary Alice’s first home was in the married barracks on the “Hill.” In 2009, Don wrote a book about his experience at Los Alamos titled “Los Alamos, As I Remember It.”

The family would like to thank Don’s caregiver, Tambra Gray, and her husband, Pat, for the many years of loving care they gave to Don. He was never wanting for anything and he knew they cared for him out of love as Christ would ask all of us to care for each other.

A celebration of Don’s life will be held at Southern Hills Christian Church at 3207 South Boulevard, Edmond, Oklahoma, on Feb. 3 at 11 a.m.

In lieu of flowers, Don would be pleased if donations were made in his name to St. Joseph’s Indian School, P.O. Box 300, Chamberlain, South Dakota, or to Southern Hills Christian Church, 3207 South Boulevard, Edmond, Oklahoma.