David Gordon Blahna, 74, of Mechanicsburg, passed away unexpectedly on Wednesday, October 20, 2021. He was the son of the late Aldon H. and Barbara J. (Laughlin) Blahna, born on November 29, 1946 in Bell, CA. He was formally known as David G Blahna, DVM, PhD, MPH, but better known to his family, neighbors and friends as Dave. He had spent much of his adult life managing a veterinary practice and raising his sons in Minnesota before taking residence in Pennsylvania.
Dave was an accomplished academic, having earned several degrees. Throughout his life, Dave loved to spend time in the outdoors. As a young man he hiked throughout the western United States and led youth trips. After his own sons were born, Dave instilled in them his same love of the outdoors, leading family camping adventures and teaching his sons to hunt and fish. Later in life Dave took up photography and enjoyed birding with his beloved wife Linda. He proudly honored his Shawnee heritage. Dave and his brother John made a point of becoming enrolled members of the Shawnee Tribe. Additionally, he helped to extend equal employment opportunities for Native Americans. Dave was also fascinated with the history surrounding the Civil War. Dave and Linda traveled to several battlefield sites across the United States, and he even became an active member in the Camp Curtin Historical Society and Civil War Round Table. When family and friends would visit, Dave relished the opportunity to lead them on tours through local Civil War battlefields. In retirement, Dave dreamed of volunteering as a guide at the annual Memorial Illumination at Antietam, traveling extensively with Linda, and becoming a grandfather.
Surviving David is his beloved wife of 10 years, Linda Brown Warren; his sons, Nicholas John Winkler Blahna of St. Cloud, MN, and Christopher David Winkler Blahna of Columbus, OH; step-daughters, Emily Mae Warren of Boston, MA, and Katherine Brockett McAfee and husband, Ethan McAfee, of Alexandria, VA; a newborn grandchild, Finley Mae McAfee; two sisters, Mary Cieplinski of Las Vegas, NV, and Beverly McCarthy of Moorpark, CA; nephews and nieces Eric Blahna of St. Paul, MN, Melissa Dalpee of Las Vegas, NV, Daniel Morency of Camarillo, CA, and Bekki Morency Bainville of Mounds View, MN; and a sister-in-law, Cynthia G. Brown of Washington, DC. In addition to his parents, Dave was preceded in death by his brother and closest friend, John Howard Blahna.
A Celebration of Life will be held from 1-3:30PM on Saturday, November 20, 2021, at Café Magnolia [4700 Gettysburg Road, Mechanicsburg].
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions intended to benefit students of Native descent can be mailed to the University of Minnesota Morris, his and his sons’ alma mater: Dr. David G. Blahna Memorial, c/o University of Minnesota Morris, 600 East 4th Street, Morris, MN 56267.