YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (MyValleyTributes) – Donald Florian Komara of Youngstown, Ohio, after a long and good life, died peacefully at age 90, on Monday, March 13, 2023.
Born on August 24, 1932, he was affectionately called Donnie by his late parents, siblings and childhood friends; Don by his contemporaries and professional counterparts and Captain by many because of his years of service in the Youngstown Police Department.
He was born and raised in the Saint Matthias community (1932-1950), graduated from Woodrow Wilson High School in 1950 and served in the U.S. Army at Fitzsimmons Army Hospital in Denver, Colorado (1953-1955).
He married Anna M. Olejar in Saint Elizabeth Catholic Church in 1956; with his trusty and beautiful wife, he built a life in Youngstown, Ohio.
He joined the Youngstown Police Force in 1956, earned his B.S. and M.S. (1975) from Youngstown State University and graduated from the F.B.I. Academy in Quantico, Virginia (1970s) earning distinction with the John Edgar Hoover certificate of scholastic excellence. Don Komara loved God, his family and his city. After serving his city for 39 years, he retired as a Captain and Assistant Chief of Police. Captain Komara worked his way through the ranks from patrolman, initially in a police ambulance as a medic for emergencies that included knife and gunshot wounds, as well as childbirths and then in a patrol car around the city, Detective (1962), Lieutenant (1971) and Captain (1975), ending his service as second in command to the Chief of Police. Captain Komara started neighborhood Crime Stopper Programs, arranged a Teddy Bear Program that would soothe young children at crime scenes, presented educational materials in city neighborhoods and schools, wrote and presented educational training material in the YPD, and mentored many young officers. Don Komara found great satisfaction in his work as a police officer, walking a beat around the city, meeting and talking to people in neighborhoods to educate them about crime prevention and safety and testifying against criminal activities in order to bring peace and justice to Youngstown. Captain Komara believed in building community between the YPD and the people of the city. In his 39 years of police service, he talked criminals into handing over their guns, coaxed desperate people off ledges, and disrupted organized crime. He believed that if he knew his city, its people and its communities, he would not need to discharge his weapon. He never fired his weapon outside of the firing range.
After earning his License Professional Counselor certification, his personal interests led him into developing a Driver’s Educational Alternative Program in Youngstown. The D.E.A.P. was a highway safety impaired driver intervention program certified by the Ohio Department of Alcohol and Drug Addiction Services. During its weekend sessions, Don served as the School Director and lectured on drug abuse, impaired driving and highway safety; supervised a team of chemical abuse counselors and assessed incoming clients for possible chemical abuse/addiction.
Captain Komara taught as a limited faculty member in the Criminal Justice Program at Youngstown State University (1971-1979) and was associated with the Criminal Justice Department of Kent State University, East Liverpool, Ohio (1981-82).
Don Komara served as a board member for the Alcoholism Program of Mahoning Country, the Task Force Against Drinking and Driving and Youngstown Board of Education Committee on Alcohol/Drug Education. He also served on the Mahoning County Committee on Homeless and the Highway Safety Committee. Throughout his career and after retirement, he remained active in the Crime Clinic of Greater Youngstown. After he retired, he regularly worked at election day polling sites.
Don and Ann joined Saint Christine’s parish during its founding years in the 1960s. They raised their children in the parish, sending them to its elementary and middle school and supporting the future growth of the church community and its facilities. He managed security at all of Saint Christine’s summer festivals up through the 1980s, ministered as an usher and offertory collector, assisted with bereavement meals in the Church Hall, served on the Parish council and worked as a board member for Saint Christine’s St. Vincent De Paul Society.
Donald Florian Komara is the youngest son of the late Florian Vendell and Katharine Cecilia (Bajtoṧ) Komara. He is the beloved husband of Anna M. Olejar Komara, the loving father of three children, Beth Ann (Jack Curtis), Donald Florian (Karen Parker) and Kirsten (Jim Rosacker) and the proud grandfather of six grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. He is a caring uncle to many nieces and nephews and has been a good friend, colleague and confidant to many more.
The wake will be at Vaschak-Kirila Funeral Home, 3100 Canfield Road, Youngstown, 4:00 – 6:00 p.m. on Friday, March 24, 2023.
There will be a viewing at Saint Christine’s Church, 3125 S. Schenley, Youngstown, 10:00 – 11:00 a.m., followed by the Funeral Mass at 11:00 a.m., on Saturday, March 25, 2023.
Interment will be at Calvary Cemetery, 248 S. Belle Vista Avenue, Youngstown, immediately following Mass.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks people to donate to the Mahoning County Saint Vincent de Paul Society, PO Box 224, Youngstown, OH 44501-0224 or St Christine’s Church, 3125 S. Schenley, Youngstown, OH 44511, in the name of Donald Florian Komara.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Donald Florian Komara, please visit our floral store.
A television tribute will air Wednesday, March 22 at the following approximate times: 7:10 a.m. on FOX, 12:22 p.m. on WKBN, 5:08 p.m. on MyYTV and 7:27 p.m. on WYTV. Video will be posted here the day of airing.