George M. Danchisen (1942-2018)


MARBLEHEAD, Ohio — George M. Danchisen of Marblehead, a community volunteer and a railroad history buff who owned and operated a local service and gas station, died Thursday at Stein Hospice Care Center, Sandusky. He was 76.

He died of colon cancer, his daughter Theresa Bahm said.

Mr. Danchisen operated what now is Danchisen Marathon service and gas station in Lakeside from 1970, when he joined the family business, until his death.

He previously taught math at junior high schools in Green Springs, Ohio, and Norwalk, Ohio, for six years.

Since 2000, Mr. Danchisen had been an elected member of the Marblehead Board of Public Affairs.

“He met a lot of people at the gas station, people he did not know, and he always would tell them stories from local history and community stories,” his daughter said. “He did it to make them feel welcome but also because he was very proud of his heritage and his community.” 

“He had a very strong work ethic. He worked seven days a week at the gas station for many years, even up until two weeks ago, when he couldn’t any more. And he taught that work ethic to all of us, his children,” she went on to say.

Her brother, George A. Danchisen, agreed.

“He was knowledgeable about the local history and was always involved with the community and the public,” he said.

A self-described train buff, the elder Mr. Danchisen was a longtime volunteer for the Mad River & Nickel Plate Railroad Museum in Bellevue, Ohio. He was proud of having saved numerous Lakeside-Marblehead Railroad Depot records, his daughter said.

“When he found out [years ago] they were going to tear it [the depot] down, he made it his mission to save as many records as he could. And that became a project as he worked for years organizing and sorting them,” she said, adding that he donated the records about a year ago to the Lakeside Heritage Society, which operates Heritage Hall Museum and the Lakeside Heritage Archives in Lakeside, Ohio.

Mr. Danchisen was born Feb. 26, 1942, in Marblehead to George and Helen Danchisen.

In 1960, he graduated from Danbury High School and later continued his education at Heidelberg University, graduating in 1964 with a bachelor's degree in education.

He married Mary Brown in 1971. They raised three children.

Mr. Danchisen was a lifelong member of St. Mary Byzantine Catholic Church, Marblehead, where he volunteered for weekly bingos.

Surviving are his wife of nearly 47 years, Mary Danchisen; daughters Theresa Bahm and Christine Treski; son, George A. Danchisen; three grandchildren, and two step-grandchildren.

Visitation will continue at 9 a.m. Tuesday at St. Mary Byzantine Catholic Church, 506 E. Main St., Marblehead, where funeral services will begin at 10 a.m. that day.

Arrangements were handled by Neidecker, LeVeck & Crosser Funeral Home & Cremation Service, Peninsula Chapel, Marblehead.

The family suggests tributes to the church, the hospice, or the Mad River & Nickel Plate Railroad Museum.

Contact Mike Sigov at sigov@theblade.com419-724-6089, or on Twitter @mikesigovblade.