April 14 will mark the 100th birthday of Earl K. Dohner.

Dohner was born in Mount Gretna in 1924 and spent his childhood in Lebanon.

In 1943, Dohner turned 19 years old and enlisted as the nation was embroiled in World War II. He served in the crew of a U.S. Navy troop carrier, bringing men to battles including Saipan, Iwo Jima, Leyte, and more.

By September 1945, Japan surrendered and Dohner returned home to Lebanon on leave.

It was soon after that Dohner met his soon-to-be-wife, Hilda, ending his Navy career.

Over the following years, Dohner worked in the tool and die department of Bethlehem Steel before its closure. He and Hilda had a son, Todd.

In the ’90s Dohner and Hilda moved to Cornwall’s Toytown. While Hilda passed away in 2020, Todd and wife Elizabeth live next door to the Navy vet, keeping family close.

In a presentation to Cornwall Borough Council on Monday, local resident Howard MacFadden emphasized that Dohner has kept active over the years, including being the first person MacFadden saw riding an electric bike at the Lebanon Valley Rail Trail.

MacFadden said Dohner couldn’t attend Monday’s meeting as he was receiving his 70-year pin from the Masonic Lodge, a mark of his continued standing as a pillar of the community.

Following MacFadden’s presentation, the council unanimously agreed to declare this Sunday, April 14, 2024, Earl K. Dohner Day in celebration of Dohner’s long life and service to his country and community.

From all of us at LebTown: Happy birthday, Earl, and thank you for your service.

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Emily Bixler was born and raised in Lebanon and now reports on local government. In her free time, she enjoys playing piano and going for hikes.


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