Don Dolde, the long-serving former mayor of Bridgeville, died Saturday morning. He was 79.
Dolde was Bridgeville’s mayor for 24 years, and in 2007 he was named Mayor of the Year by the Pennsylvania State Mayor’s Association.
His public service was driven by a love of the community, said borough councilman William Henderson.
“Mayor Dolde was a good man who led by example,” Henderson wrote on Facebook. “His thoughtful means of solving problems exemplified his love for our community. His footprint will remain on Bridgeville forever.”
Others who worked with Dolde echoed that sentiment.
“Our community lost somebody special, and I lost a friend,” said former mayor Pat DeBlasio, Jr., who defeated Dolde in the 2013 mayoral race.
Police secretary Mary Poole wrote, “He was the sweetest, most gentle man I’ve ever had the pleasure of working with.”
Although his long tenure is notable, Dolde was a part of Bridgeville public life well before his time as mayor. For 25 years he owned and operated Bridgville Paint and Hardware, and a member of the Char-Val Singers for more than 50 years. In 2010, the choral group honored Dolde with a concert in his honor.
During Dolde’s time as mayor, the region went through tremendous change. When he took office, South Fayette had more cows than housing developments, and the Warehouse Club was the hot new thing in Collier Township.
As the passing years brought change and new challenges, Dolde remained committed to helping his community.
His motive certainly wasn’t financial. Discussing his mayoral salary, Dolde once said: “Each month, I take my $80 and it goes directly to my wife.”
After losing the 2013 election, Dolde remained a fixture at borough meetings. Although he never again ran for office, his offered his knowledge to other public officials when asked.
“His was a voice that I could always go to for advice,” said current Bridgeville mayor Betty Copeland.
Visitation for family and friends will be Tuesday from 2 p.m. – 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. – 9 p.m. at Warchol Funeral Home. A funeral service will be held on Wednesday, at 11 a.m. at Bridgeville United Methodist Church. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the church in Don’s memory.
Dolde’s full obituary is online at Legacy.com