Sunday, August 12, 2012

Obituary of William A. Domelle (1918 - 2012)

Last Tuesday my grandfather passed away.  He was just over a month shy of his 94th birthday.  I am grateful to have had the opportunity to visit with him in the past couple of weeks, his health declined very rapidly at the end, and he was able to pass away peacefully, in his own home.

I can't say enough for the good that hospice workers do.  It must be so hard to walk into a house where you've been told to go, and you don't know what you are walking into what with worried and stressed relatives.  Hospice workers are people who embody how we all should be acting towards one another.

My grandfather was born on a farm in northwest Indiana.  He always called it "flat, flat, flat" when I asked him about it.  His parents were immigrants from the Austro-Hungarian Empire (specifically from the western part of what is now modern-day Romania) and he remembered them speaking in German to each other when they didn't want the kids to know what they were saying.  :-)

He was super intelligent - the type of person that would say, okay, I'm going to build a house now for my family - and he did!  He learned what he needed to and just did it.  Nothing stopped him.  In the early 1980s, he decided he wanted to learn computers, and he did, in his spare time!  In the last week, I saw receipts and letters and manuals for computers I'd never heard of from the 80s.  He was exchanging letters with people discussing nitty-gritty details about computing that I couldn't even begin to understand.

He was one of the hardest working people I will ever know.

He spent his life doing carpentry and construction, and once he retired from that, he got terrible arthritis.  He never complained though.  And he always ate whatever you put in front of him.  We asked once about that, like my mom would ask him what his preference was for dinner and such and he would never really give her the preference.  He always said that if someone was going to go through the trouble of making food for him to eat, then he was going to eat it.  It is a good philosophy and one which makes me feel I owe my mother an apology for being a picky eater as a child!

I miss you Grandpa, and I love you!


Below is the text of his obituary:

MILLERSBURG - William A. Domelle, 93, passed away Tuesday at his home.

Born in Newton County, Indiana, on September 16, 1918, son of the late William and Elizabeth Obendorfer Domelle.  He met his future wife, Anna G. Mix, in 1938, and they married in 1942. They lived in Millersburg for the past 30 years.

He was a retired self employed carpenter.

He was pre-deceased by his wife of 68 years, Anna, 2010, and a son Stephen, 1998.

Surviving are his two loving daughters, Deborah Kleylein, Philadelphia and Rebecca Lucas, Lykens; 9 grandchildren; numerous great grandchildren; one brother Peter, Indiana.

Services will be held at the convenience of the family.


  1. Yes, my dad was such a hard worker, he was still climbing ladders to do roof work at 75!!! He had arthritis a very long time and I think that when he became less active after retiring it really took hold. And yes, he always complimented whoever cooked for him for a delicious meal. I really miss him.

  2. We learn so much from our grandparents! Usually without realizing it until after the fact.

  3. Your grandfather was a very handsome man. I'm so sorry for your loss, Leah. Blessings to you and the rest of his family.

  4. I ran across this on the internet by chance.I am sorry for your loss.I am a relative.My grandfather was Anthony Domelle Sr.,his other brother besides my great uncle Pete.I never had the chance to meet my great uncle William unfortunately.I would have liked to though.My Grandpa Tony and Uncle Pete had shown me pictures of when they were kids in Indiana.The pictures you shared on here shows the uncanny resemblance between the brothers and the whole Domelle family.Amazing...well I hope that someday that I can connect with all of my cousins someday.My brothers and I are on Facebook...take care,and much love...Mike Domelle