Donald A. Hrenko of Berlin, Connecticut, passed away peacefully Friday, January 28th at the Conklin Building at Hartford Hospital surrounded by the love of his family. He is survived by his life partner, Gladys "Sis" Johnson, his brother, James Hrenko, his nephews, nieces, cousins and many friends who adored him.
At a young age, Don found a love for adventure in the outdoors and a passion for working with his hands. This was exemplified by the cabin he built in Vermont with his late friend, Andy Znosko. Together they spent any time off up at the cabin, fishing in the nearby lakes and snowmobiling through the peaceful green mountains. Don continued to venture to his favorite place with “Sis” for long weekend retreats for the duration of his retirement.
Don always had a fascination with small engine machines and worked a long, successful career at Mickey Finn's Honda. A customer could always trust that they would walk away with the exact product they needed with Donald's help. After retirement, you could still find him tinkering around his house and yard each day on his John Deere tractor.
Donald’s life was heavily guided by Christian principles. He was a devout Catholic and an extremely active member in the St. Paul’s parish. He was generous with his time and always welcoming with his friends and family. One thing he will always be remembered for is his passion for cooking. After his travels around the world, Donald loved trying to recreate the dishes he experienced, and had an extra setting at the table for anyone who wanted to join. Donald enjoyed spending time over a delicious meal, and had many standing donut, lunch, and dinner dates that spanned many years.
Donald was a huge presence in the lives of the Hrenko, Brown, and Farrell children. They were always lucky to get cheered on by Uncle Don at sporting events, musicals, graduations, and birthday parties.
When Don entered the hospital early last year, he fought to return home to his best friend, Sis. His love for her was unparalleled; based on a lifelong friendship of over 70 years that began in grade school.
A Mass of Christian Burial is scheduled for Thursday, February 3rd at 10 am at St. Paul's Church, 461 Alling Street, Berlin. Burial will follow in Maple Cemetery, Berlin. The family asks that you take all the covid precautions you can by wearing a mask and social distancing. Calling hours will be on Wednesday, February 2nd from 4-7 pm at Erickson-Hansen Funeral Home of Berlin/Porters, 111 Chamberlain Highway, Berlin.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to St. Paul School in Berlin at https://ourschool.stpaulkensington.org/support-sps.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Donald A. Hrenko, please visit our floral store.