CANFIELD - On Jan. 24, 2013, Darrel John Vertanen, 57, beloved husband, father, and grandfather departed this earthly life to enter into eternal life with Jesus Christ.
He fought a short but courageous battle with cancer.
Darrel was the president and chief operating officer of Hunt Engineering, Salem, Ohio.
Darrel was born on Oct. 6, 1955 to Wilho and Pauline Vertanen in Quincy, Mass. He grew up in the Upper Penninsula of Michigan 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, Ill.; and Jill (Josh) and granddaughter Charlotte Grace Geric of Nashville, Tenn. The birth of his first grandchild, Charlotte, in October 2012, brought joy and hope to Darrel and his family.
Darrel was the sixth of eight children and is survived by his brothers Dennis (Mary) of Marquette, Mich.; Daniel (Sandy) of Hayward, Wis.; David (Linda) of Brainerd, Minn.; Dale (Colleen) of Lakeville, Minn.; and sisters Christine (Stan) Jefferson of Vernon, Vt.; Kathy (Steve) Barr of Skandia, Mich.; and Carol (Rob) German of Jordan, Minn. He is also survived by his mother-in-law, Florence Naumes, and numerous nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents Wilho and Pauline Vertanen.
Darrel graduated from Suomi College in Hancock, Mich. in 1975 and Michigan Technological University in Houghton, Mich. 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, New York where he held the position of head of sales and marketing.
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 senior vice president of quality and became president and chief operating officer 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, Scandinavia 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 (1,000 points 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 children's 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 N. Broad Street, Canfield, Ohio 44406 from 4 to 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 30. The funeral will be held at Zion Lutheran Church, 3300 Canfield Road, Youngstown, Ohio 44411 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, P.O. Box 298, Youngstown, Ohio 44501, or to Melanoma Research at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center via link mskcc.convio.net/goto/DarrelVertanen.