Obituary: Donald Koenig Sr. / Bethel Park man lived life through charities
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Locals of Bethel Park probably recognize the State Farm Agency building on 800 Library Road -- it has been there for decades. The man behind that building -- Donald Koenig Sr. -- had been there for decades as well, since 1968. He was a staple in the Bethel Park community, an active member in his church and municipal government.
Mr. Koenig, of Bethel Park, died Wednesday, on his 78th birthday, after being diagnosed with terminal cancer nine weeks earlier. He is survived by his wife, Barbara Koenig; two sons, Donald Koenig Jr., of Ohio, and James Koenig, of Florida; and two daughters, Leigh Ann White, of Carnegie, and Marianne, of Texas.
Frank Congelio, a field executive for State Farm, worked with Mr. Koenig for 20 years. Mr. Congelio said he always had a smile on his face and his clients and associates "thought the world of him." Mr. Koenig worked closely with the same clients through three generations of their families, often becoming more of a mentor or trusted adviser than an insurance agent.
Mr. Congelio recalled how Mr. Koenig sent his family cookies every year during the Christmas season. "He was grateful and giving," he said. "He went above and beyond."
That generosity went beyond work relationships.
He served as the president of Bethel Park's Chamber of Commerce in 1980 and used his term to focus on the growth of small, local businesses. He was proud of being a small business owner and that his community had many family-owned businesses, Mr. Koenig Jr. said.
Mr. Koenig also was heavily involved with the St. Louise de Marillac Catholic Church in Upper St. Clair. He served as a member of its Men's Club and worked on the fish fry charity.
Shirley Prendergast, 66, of Upper St. Clair, is a member of the church's Women's Guild with Ms. Koenig. She has known the family since moving to Bethel Park in 1983. "Don was very helpful with the [Women's Guild]. He was always there to help with fundraisers," she said.
Mr. Koenig Jr. recalled how his dad was "a strong believer in helping those in need" and made sure to help his friends in every stage of life through his insurance company and charities.
Golf was also one of Mr. Koenig's greatest passions. He hosted an annual golf tournament to raise money for the Special Olympics, raising thousands of dollars overall.
Mr. Koenig Jr. said his dad traveled the world through his golfing -- going on annual trips to Myrtle Beach and even playing in Scotland. One of his proudest accomplishments, according to Mr. Koenig Jr., was scoring two holes in one. "I hope he's back with all his golf buddies," he said.
A Mass will be celebrated at 10 a.m. Saturday in the St. Thomas More Church.
First Published June 22, 2012 12:00 am