Donald T. Grote, 88, of Latrobe, died Saturday, August 29, 2009, at the Bethlen Home, Ligonier. He was born October 3, 1920, in Latrobe, the son of the late Willaim and Margaret Holland Grote. He had been employed at Carborundum in Latrobe. Don was a member of St. Vincent Basilica Parish. He was a graduate of Holy Family Grade School and Latrobe High School. Don initially trained as an Army glider pilot having learned to fly at Latrobe Airport. He then joined the U.S. Marine Corps during World War II and was a combat veteran of the war in the Pacific, having been involved in action on Guam, Iwo Jima, and Bougainville. He was an avid golfer and sportsman, being a member of the Latrobe Elks Golf Club and having golfed there with many friends over the years, and of the Possum Hollow Club.
In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his sister, Margaret M. Leonard, and by six brothers, William, Paul, James, Eugene, Maurice and Regis Grote. Donald was the last surviving member of his immediate family. Don is survived by his nephews, Atty. John Leonard and his wife Barbara, of Greensburg, Gerald Leonard and Marylou, of Latrobe, Atty. Kevin Leonard and his wife, Jennifer of Latrobe, Frederick Grote, of England, Robert Grote, of Latrobe, Peter Grote and a niece Essie Grote; a brother-in-law, John Leonard, and great nieces, Emma Tkach Leonard, Kristen Steinman, Erin Salas, Erica Leonard, and Ashley Leonard, great nephews Gerald Leonard, Jr., Brian Leonard, Kevin Leonard, Jr., John Leonard, Scott Grote, Royce Winslow, other relatives, and many wonderful neighbors and friends. "Uncle" Don's family is appreciative for all the kindness and assistance provided by his caregivers, neighbors and friends in recent months as his health declined.
Visitation will be held Monday, from 6-8 PM, and Tuesday, from 2-4 and 6-8 PM at the Frederick Funeral Home, Inc., 1543 Ligonier St., Latrobe. A funeral Mass will be celebrated Wednesday in St. Vincent Basilica at 10 AM. Burial will follow in St. Vincent Cemetery where Military Honors will be rendered. Memorial donations may be made in his name to Christ the Divine Teacher School, 323 Chestnut St., Latrobe, PA 15650. To sign online guest book or send online condolences, visit www.frederickfuneralhome.com.