CANFIELD, Ohio - Darrel John Vertanen, 57, beloved husband, father and grandfather departed this earthly life to enter into eternal life with Jesus Christ on Jan. 24, 2013. He fought a short but courageous battle with cancer.
Darrel was the president and chief operating officer of Hunt Engineering in Salem, Ohio.
Darrel was born Oct. 6, 1955, to Wilho and Pauline Vertanen in Quincy, Mass. He grew up in the Upper Peninsula and was very proud of his Finnish heritage.
On May 31, 1975, he married his high school sweetheart, Kathy (Naumes) Vertanen.
He is survived by his wife of 37 years and his children, Rich (Michelle Young) of Baltimore, Md., Joel (Amy Benedict) of Chicago and Jill (Josh) of Nashville, Tenn.; granddaughter, Charlotte Grace Geric whose birth in Oct. 2012, brought joy and hope to Darrel and his family.
Darrel was the sixth of eight children and is survived by brothers, Dennis (Mary) of Marquette, Daniel (Sandy) of Hayward, Wis., David (Linda) of Brainerd, Minn. and Dale (Colleen) of Lakeville, Minn.; sisters Christine (Stan) Jefferson of Vernon, Vt., Kathy (Steve) Barr of Skania and Carol (Rob) German of Jordan, Minn.; his mother-in-law, Florence Naumes; numerous nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Wilho and Pauline Vertanen.
Darrel graduated from Suomi College in 1975 and Michigan Technological University in 1977. He began his manufacturing career at Murray Machinery in Wausau, Wis. where he became Head of Sales and Marketing. In 1986, he moved to Carthage Machine Company in Carthage, N.Y.
Darrel and his family moved to Canfield in 1992 and he began his career at Hunt Engineering in Salem, Ohio. In 1998, Darrel became Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Spirex Corporation in Boardman, Ohio. He returned to Hunt in 2004 as Sr. Vice President of Quality and became President and CEO in 2008. Darrel will miss his work and his colleagues immensely.
Mr. Vertanen had the opportunity to travel extensively during his years in Sales and made numerous trips to England, Europe Singapore, Malaysia, Japan, Scandanavia and Mexico as well as all over the United States and Canada.
He was an avid sportsman and excelled in basketball. He played high school (1000 pt. scorer) and college basketball as well as years of City League basketball while living in Wisconsin and Michigan.
Darrel enjoyed biking and golf. He was the happiest walking along the shore of the ocean or hiking in the woods. Darrel was a certified hockey official and spent years as a youth league hockey coach in upstate New York and Youngstown. He was heavily involved in organizing the Youngstown Youth hockey travel program. Darrel enjoyed following his childrens' participation in college, Canfield High School and youth sports. He loved the hectic years of hockey, basketball, gymnastics, baseball, softball and volleyball.
Darrel was a man of God. His church and people in need were very important to him. He served as an usher and member/leader of the Service Ministry team.
He will be missed forever by his family and friends.
Friends may call at the Lane Funeral Home, 65 Broad St., Canfield, Ohio 44406 from 4 to 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 30. Funeral services will be held in Zion Lutheran Church, 3300 Canfield Rd. Youngstown, Ohio on Thursday, Jan. 31 at 11 a.m. with viewing and visitation one hour prior.
The family requests that monetary donations be made in Darrel's honor to the Rescue Mission of Mahoning Valley, PO Box 298, Youngstown, OH 44501 or to Melanoma Research at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center via link mskcc.convio.net/goto/DarrelVertanen.