SALEM, Ohio (MyValleyTributes) – Corey Alexander McDonald, 32, died unexpectedly of an undiagnosed heart ailment on Sunday, May 29, 2022 but was able to extend the life of others through organ donation.

Corey was born September 22, 1989 in Salem, Ohio, a son of James S. and Amy (Zepernick) McDonald.

He was a successful physicist, having worked for the government at National Institute of Standards and Technology and later at the University of California Santa Barbara quantum physics department.

His educational background was extensive with degrees from Miami University of Ohio and his Ph.D. from Colorado University. He also studied at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland and had research published in Scientific American Magazine.

He loved to travel, especially camping and backpacking.

In addition to his parents, he is survived by his loving fiancée, Nicole Marino whom he was to marry October 15; his idolized sister, Hannah (Andy) Thrush; his much loved niece and nephew, Kathryn and Samuel Thrush; his grandmothers, Carol McDonald and Betty Zepernick, as well as several aunts and uncles.

He was preceded in death by his grandfathers, James McDonald and Dean Zepernick, as well as an aunt and a cousin.

The family has planned a private memorial service.

Memorial contributions would be most fittingly made to charities benefitting animals.

Arrangements handled by Weber Funeral Home. To leave condolences, please visit

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Corey Alexander McDonald, please visit our floral store.

A television tribute will air Monday, July 11 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.