Don was born to Dessie née Field and Matthew Cecchett in Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania the fourth of five children. Don was raised in the small coal mining town of Sutersville, PA. He loved Sutersville and compared every small town he ever passed through to Sutersville. Don married his high school sweetheart Alma Hofmann and together raised Rene Zimmerman née Cecchett. Don enlisted in the United States Marine Corps and served in the Vietnam War, 1968-1969 as a Military Policeman. After finishing his tour in Vietnam, Donald worked full time as a coal miner while attending night school at the University of Pittsburgh – earning a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics.
After graduation Don started his career in the nuclear energy field working as a regulatory engineer for Westinghouse. Don married Dianne Lynn Holland of Washington, PA and moved to Mazon, IL and later Dwight where they raised their son Seth. Don was a member of St. Peter’s Lutheran Church of Dwight.
Don enjoyed hiking and road trips with his son Seth, having just completed a trip to Dinosaur National Monument in October. Don was an avid movie goer, attending the theater almost every week. Don enjoyed long walks with his greyhound Newell and maintaining his mountain home in Tennessee.
Don is preceded in death by his parents Dessie and Matthew Cecchett, brothers Barry and Boyce Cecchett. He is survived by his wife Dianne of 39 years, children Seth and Rene, siblings Brent Cecchett and Dessie Mary Cipicchio, many extended family members and his greyhound Newell.
In lieu of flowers donations may be made to the Intermountain Natural History Association – Dinosaur National Monument, the Cumberland County Rescue Squad, the Wounded Warrior Foundation, or the National Greyhound Association.
The Cecchett family greatly appreciates the exhaustive efforts of the first responders to save Donald’s life.