Cover photo for Donald Jay Dignan's Obituary
Donald Jay Dignan Profile Photo

Donald Jay Dignan

d. February 20, 2024


Don Dignan, 80, passed away on February 20, 2024, at the David Simpson Hospice House in Cleveland, Ohio, as a result of pancreatic cancer. His two daughters were at his side.

Up until his last few days, Don remained in the house in South Euclid where he’d lived for more than 50 years. Though his daughters had suggested he relocate so as to live closer to one of them, he was adamant that he wanted to be nowhere other than the home that held so many memories for him and where everything was just the way he wanted it to be. (Woe to the son-in-law who did not load the dishwasher to Don’s specifications!)

A lifelong Clevelander, Don attended West Tech High School and received his Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Technology from Cleveland State University. After several decades as a mechanical and design engineer, he switched careers and took on the role of maintenance supervisor at the Breckenridge Village retirement community in Willoughby.

After Don retired, he could often be seen cruising around Northeast Ohio on a scooter, then on a larger scooter, and finally on a big old Kawasaki Vulcan 1700 Nomad motorcycle. His outings often included a stop in Chagrin Falls, where he enjoyed drinking a Starbucks while chatting with fellow motorcycle enthusiasts.

Both before and after Don’s retirement—in fact, from his teenage years on—music played an important role in Don’s life. As a young man, he played the drums in a band. He later took up singing and spent many years as a bass with the Johnnycake Ridge Singers barbershop chorus. He was also a member of several barbershop quartets as well as a doo-wop quartet called the Accafellas.

Speaking of puns, Don was undoubtedly one of the dads that gave “dad jokes” their name. As a father, though, Don was much more than a source of corny puns—he was also enormously generous, thoughtful, and supportive of his daughters’ pursuits throughout their lives. He made great jelly-roll pancakes and delicious Concord grape pies, and begrudgingly ate most of the weird vegetarian food his daughters made whenever the family was together.

Don is survived by his daughter Jennifer and her husband James; his daughter Julia and her husband Ray; his grandson Miles; his sister Diana; his sister- and brother-in-law, Kathy and Doug; and his nieces Shari, Annalise, and Madison. He was preceded in death by his beloved wife Lynne Dignan (nee Walters), who passed away in 2003, and by his companion of many years following Lynne’s death, Mary Elles Seres, who passed away in 2023.

In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation to the American Cancer Society in memory of Don Dignan: or 1-800-227-2345.

Friends and family are invited to attend a memorial gathering on March 9, 2024. Please contact the family for more information.

Condolences and memories can be shared online at

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Donald Jay Dignan, please visit our flower store.


Visits: 261

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the
Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Service map data © OpenStreetMap contributors

Send Flowers

Send Flowers

Plant A Tree

Plant A Tree