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In Memoriam

David M. Baldauf

David “Davey” M. Baldauf (Buck), age 73, of Lakewood Ranch, Florida, formerly of New Castle, PA and the Shenango Valley Area, died unexpectedly on Saturday, May 13, 2023 at home.

He was born September 23, 1949, in New Castle, PA, a son of the late Francis Joseph and Martha Muse Baldauf.

A 1967 graduate of New Castle High School, he then attended Youngstown State.

Davey dedicated 40 years of his life to the explosives industry. He was a member of the International Society of Explosive Engineers. On April 28, 1989, he was given the Distinguished Service Award by the Mid-Atlantic Chapter Society of Explosive Engineers and was presented the President’s Award from the ISEE on February 15, 2000. He retired in 2006 as head of safety for Wampum Hardware, New Galilee, PA. He was also a member of Elks Lodge #69 of New Castle.

Davey was an avid Harley Davidson motorcyclist and made annual trips to Daytona Beach for bike week.

He was good-hearted, helpful and generous. Davey was a great conversationalist, interested in people, a born storyteller, and could always connect with anyone everywhere he traveled.

Davey was a loving and devoted husband to Kathryn J. Yencsik Swanson, whom he married on June 1, 2001.

Surviving in addition to his wife are his stepchildren, Deanne (Matt) Lauther of Sharpsville, PA and Dr. Jennifer Swanson (John Freeman) and Gregory Swanson both of Lakewood Ranch, FL; four step grandchildren, Madeline and Meredith Lauther and Collin and Sophia Freeman; one brother, Robert Baldauf of Blackwood, NJ; one sister, Mrs. Gerald (Mary Jane “Mimi”) Davis of New Galilee, PA; numerous nieces and nephews, in-laws, and many special friends.

He will be deeply missed by all who loved him dearly.

John Brady Nelson

AUGUST 1, 1941 - DECEMBER 22, 2023. John Brady Nelson was born in Atlanta, Georgia, to Clifford John and Mary Elizabeth Nelson. John graduated from Archbishop John Carroll High School in 1959 and later joined the Marines. For nearly 30 years, with Tri-State Explosives, John thoroughly enjoyed demolishing and imploding structures in the tri-state area - Washington DC Metro Redline, the Gannett buildings in Arlington, a well-researched documentary on the battles at Antietam, coal mines in Pennsylvania - to name a few assignments. He was a member of the International Society of Explosives Engineers. From 1999 to 2010, John's company, City Services of Washington, rendered home repair/remodeling services. He capped his nearly 60-year career as the Assistant Safety Manager at The Strittmatter Companies. John completed two Marine Corps marathons as well as the Virginia Beach Shamrock marathon. He was known as "POPPY" to his grandchildren - Patrick, Jayda, Halie Grace, Kathryn, Conor, Bradley, and George and Sulli Clexton. John's life came to a peaceful end on December 22, 2023, at his home in Bethany Beach, Delaware. He is survived by his wife Diane Hysan Nelson and his siblings James Nelson, Mary Beth Rehak, and Kathy Folger. He was predeceased by his daughter, Angela Clexton.

A Celebration of Life will be held in the spring. Memorial donations may be made to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital at 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38105.

Duane Straw

Duane Lewis Straw of Hill City, SD passed away on the morning of September 6th, 2023. Duane passed with his loving wife, Brenda Straw, by his side in their home. Duane and Brenda met in the summer of 1980 and Duane was immediately taken by Brenda. Duane fell in love with Brenda for her kind soul, witty personality, and beauty (inside and out). Brenda fell in love with Duane for his big heart, caring nature, and those beautiful blue eyes. Duane and Brenda would have been married for 42 years on October 24th.

Duane was born May 11 in Wallace, ID to the parents of Loite and Viola Straw. Duane grew up with his 11 other siblings in Hill City, SD. Annette and husband Duane, Hill City, SD. Floyd Straw and Mary of Fairburn, SD. Donna Coppess, Bellefourche, SD. Donald Straw, Rapid City, SD. Donavin Straw, Bridgewater, SD. Diane Vanderbeek and Gene, Provo, SD. Bonnie Goodroad, Nisland, SD. Dennis and Kiki Straw, Hill City, SD. Brothers deceased. Danny Straw, Hill City, SD. Ronnie Straw, Hill City, SD. Derwin Straw, Rapid City, SD.

Duane was a Driller and Blaster for many years. He worked Drilling and Blasting for Pacer Corporation, road construction, and spent the last 25 years of his career at Crazy Horse Memorial. He retired in 2016. Duane always spoke fondly about his time at Crazy Horse. He loved discussing the monument and you could tell how passionate he was about the work he did there. His wife Brenda put together a wall of pictures in his man cave, honoring Duane and all his years at Crazy Horse. She wanted him to know how proud she was of him. Duane was honored to know and work with the Ziolkowski family and his colleagues at Crazy Horse Memorial.

Duane was the proud father of two children Justin Straw and Amanda Jefferies. Amanda and her husband Ian live in Aurora, CO. Amanda, just like her father, always wanted to help people, and works for a national nonprofit organization that serves first-time low-income families. Justin and his husband Erick live in Box Elder and are the owners of Justin Straw Designs, which is one of the most reputable wedding companies in the Black Hills. One relative said that when Duane spoke of his kids you could always see in his eyes how proud of them he was. Duane was the loving grandfather of Elena, Dominick, Exavior, and Dayzee Long Wolf Straw. Duane loved his grandkids and was delighted to watch them succeed in all their endeavors.

Duane was loved by many and had several lifelong friends (you know who you are) who became family over the years. Duane loved swimming in Spring Creek, climbing Black Elk Peak & Mt. Baldy and enjoyed all the beauty of the Black Hills. But the thing Duane loved the most was throwing back a few beers with his family and friends and sharing a few laughs in his man cave. The family will celebrate Duane's life and his passing with a memorial late spring 2024, at his Man Cave and home. The family will provide more details as the time comes.

We love and miss you tremendously Duane.

Arthur Beinlich

Arthur H. "The Chest" Beinlich, 82, of Bethlehem Township, died Tuesday, August 22, 2023 in his home. Born September 3, 1940 in Easton, he was the son of the late Eric G. Beinlich, Sr. and Hilda (Mack) Beinlich. He and his wife, Sandra (Meyers) Beinlich were married 58 years. Arthur graduated from Penn State, served in the Navy during the Vietnam War, and was an avid sports fan. He was an explosives engineer for Vibra-Tech, Tamaqua. Prior to that he worked for Orica Explosives, Canada, and Cleveland-Cliffs Iron Ore Mine, Ishpeming, Mich.

Surviving with his wife, Sandra, are a son, Keith A. Beinlich and his partner, Felicia Dettmer; two daughters, Lori A. Lehr and her husband, Jeremy, and Vicky L. Geiger and her husband, David; and six grandchildren. Two sons, Scott A. Beinlich and Todd E. Beinlich; a brother, Eric G. Beinlich, Jr.; and a sister, Arlene Schwartz died earlier.

Private services with military honors will be held at Northampton Memorial Shrine. The Ashton Funeral Home, Easton is handling the arrangements. Offer online condolences at

Joe Wood

Robert Joseph (Joe) Wood was born to Dr. Robert M. and Edna Marie Wood on August 7 th , 1949 in Chicago, IL.  He died unexpectedly at his home in Spearfish, SD on March 2, 2023.

Joe attended the South Dakota School of Mines and received his bachelor’s degree in geology from the University of Nebraska. He served eight years in the US Army in Germany and another 20+ years in the Army Reserve. He was happiest being out in the Black Hills, especially in Galena. He loved the wildlife, large and small, who came through his land, and he made sure they always had plenty to eat.

Joe was an active member in the Black Hills Chapter of the International Society of Explosives Engineers. He spent many years on the Board of Directors, attending chapter meetings and an active member in the Best in the West Drill and Blast Conference.

Joe shared many life experiences and great stories with everyone. He was very knowledgeable in the industry and always enjoyed interacting with university students. You could always count on a smiling Joe to be at every chapter meeting. Joe will be greatly missed by all!

Joe was preceded in death by his parents. Left to mourn his passing are his sisters Claire, Anne, and Nancy, his nephew Hans, and his niece Elsa and her husband Sveinung.

A graveside service is planned for summer 2023.

Arrangements are under the care of Fidler-Isburg Funeral Chapels and Isburg Crematory of Spearfish. Online condolences may be written at