Donald Eitnier, 84, ‘Harry the Mailman,’ EHS grad, Korea vet, WGAL cameraman, ND fan

By on June 1, 2016

Donald Eitnier, 84, of Bird-in-Hand, passed from this life at 8:55 a.m. on Thursday, May 19, 2016, at the Gino J. Merli Veterans Center, Scranton, after an extended illness.

Don was one of five children born to the late Ottomer and Edith (Hartranft) Eitnier. He was born in Lancaster, on Aug. 24, 1931.

After the early death of his mother, he attended Hershey Industrial School from age seven until 1946. He was a graduate of Ephrata High School Class of 1949. After graduation, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy and served until 1953 as a radarman aboard the aircraft carrier USS Phillippine Sea CV-47.

He was a Korean War Veteran. After returning from the Navy he worked as a clothing salesman in Ephrata and later as a cameraman for WGAL. He entered into the postal service in 1956 as a letter carrier until retiring in 1986. During his postal career he served as president of the NALC Union for several years, and later as an EI facilitator for the employees his last two years of his postal career. His letter carrier career gained him the love, respect, and admiration of an immeasurable number of children, their families, and even dogs along his mail route. He was known as “Harry the Mailman” and “Donald Duck” to many of them.

He was a 65-year member of the Lancaster NALC Branch No. 273 Postal Union, a 32-degree member of the Lamberton Lodge No. 476, Lancaster, and a life member of the Millersville VFW, and the Blinded Veterans Association. He loved seeing family and friends, car ventures with his wife Judi, reading, horses, Notre Dame Football, and cookies.

He is survived by his loving wife: Judith of nearly 32 years, of Bird-in-Hand; sons: Kurt N. Eitnier (Patti Bachman) of Lancaster; Kent N. Eitnier of Plainfield; Keven N. Eitnier (Anne Renaut) of Jacksonville, N.C.; his extended family: a son: J. Andrew Jobst (Bridget Sheron) of Ypsilanti, Mich.; daughters: Rosemary K. Puzey (Russ) of Fairmount, Ill.; Amanda B. Repp (Doug) of Casey, Iill.; sisters: Shirley Keiffer (Jay) of Akron; Ginny Lou Leicy (Glen) of Lancaster; Jean Marie Abram (Jim) of Ephrata; 19 grandchildren; eight great-grandchildren; and his dog: Magic.

Don was preceded in death by his parents; Ottomer, Edith, and Virginia Eitnier; a sister: Faye Pickell; and a brother: Larry B. Eitnier.

Family and friends are invited to attend a military graveside service at Fort Indiantown Gap on Friday, June 3, at 2 p.m. A procession to the cemetery will leave the Stradling Funeral Home, 30 N. Ninth Street, Akron, promptly, at 12:30 p.m.

Memorial contributions may be made, in lieu of flowers, to the Bird-in-Hand United Methodist Church, P.O. Box 408, Bird-in-Hand, PA 17505; or the Gino J. Merli Veterans Center, 401 Penn Ave., Scranton, PA 18503.

Arrangements by Stradling Funeral Homes Inc., Akron/Ephrata. Online condolences can be given at stradlingfuneralhome.com.

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