Service measured not by GOLD,
                           but by the GOLDEN RULE

Service measured not by GOLD,
          but by the GOLDEN RULE


Donald Edward Van Cleef of Wooster Ohio and Orient New York, passed away peacefully at Westview Healthy Living in Wooster on 24 June 2024 at the age of 94 after being visited by all his children. Don is survived by his wife of 71 years, Mina Merle Ramage Van Cleef, his children, James Van Cleef and wife Jacquelynn, Robert Van Cleef and wife Trish, Elizabeth Van Cleef Lauber and husband Michael, and Thomas Van Cleef, seven grandchildren, and six great grandchildren.

Born on May 28, 1930, in Hollis, Queens, Don attended Andrew Jackson High School, received a BA degree at the College of Wooster, Wooster Ohio (where he met Mina in the library) and an MS from Case Western Reserve in Industrial Psychology.  He went to Officer Candidate School in New London CT and became a First Lieutenant in the Coast Guard aboard the “Mackinaw”, the only ice breaker on the Great Lakes.

In 1955. Don joined PPG Industries and relocated to Pittsburgh where he rose from personnel assistant in the Chemical Division, to the Corporate Director of Employee, Government and Public Relations over his 30-year career.  In Pittsburgh, Don and Mina raised their 4 children and were active members of the Covenant Community Presbyterian Church.  Every summer they made the 12-hour drive with the kids and the sailboat to Orient Point on Long Island where Don had spent his childhood summers fishing and sailing. Don and Mina eventually retired to Orient where they spent their time gardening, sailing, and volunteering at the Orient Congregational Church. Starting in 2006, they moved back to Wooster Ohio during the College academic year, returning to Orient for summers.  In Wooster, Don was an active member of the First Presbyterian Church and Wooster Rotary and volunteered as a janitor at the Startzman Clinic.  He and Mina became co-Presidents of the College of Wooster Alumni Association.

Funeral services will be celebrated at 11:00 AM on Saturday, June 29, 2024, at First Presbyterian Church. 621 College Ave., Wooster with Rev. David Rice officiating.  Inurnment will be held in the Orient Cemetery at a later date.

Friends will be received on Friday from 5:00-7:00 PM at McIntire, Bradham & Sleek Funeral Home, 216 E. Larwill St., Wooster.

Contributions may be directed to The College of Wooster, c/o Wooster Fund, 1189 Beall Ave., Wooster, OH 44691 or First Presbyterian Church, 621 College Ave., Wooster, OH 44691.

Online condolences may be left for the family at


  1. Please accept our sincere and deep sympathy. So many good memories of Don and Mina over the past 40+ years. They showed us what lives well-lived look like. I will always remember our times working together for the College, visits in Wooster and in Orient, their countless acts of kindness and support. Our love goes out to the entire family. Marj and Reg Kramer

  2. Dear Mina and family – I am so sorry to hear of Don’s passing. Though I didn’t know him well, I was so grateful for your commitment to the Friends of International Student program I ran at the College. It was always a joy to see you and hear about your adventures together. Please know you are in my thoughts and prayers and I hope the many wonderful memories you made together sustain you during this difficult time.

  3. Dear Mina

    I am deeply sorry to hear about Don’s passing. I was one of the international student in the College of Wooster that has been taken care by you from 2014 to 2018. Even though I left US after graduation, I have always cherished the time I spent with you two and remained grateful to all the care you two have given me. I still remembered the deliciousness of your cookies, the happiness on your face when you two shared with me about your long marriage journey, your family, and your children, and I still keep the photo of your family that Don gave me. It was by chance when I saw that photo that I decided to look your name up online and learnt about Don’s passing.
    I’ll always admire the love shared between you and Don. Sending my deepest sympathies and thoughts in this difficult time following the passing of your dear husband.


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