Publisher’s Note: We asked Cheryl Mish and Tug Brock Mish to help us pay tribute to Donald “Donny” J. Mesaros, Jr., an industry leader who we recently lost. Cheryl (close friend) and Tug (stepson) share their meaningful thoughts with us.
Cheryl Mish: Donald J. Mesaros, Jr. passed away on January 11, 2014, after a long and courageous battle with pancreatic cancer. Don was proud to become a member of The International Towing & Recovery Hall of Fame Class of 2011….almost as proud as the museum was to induct him! Don was a very quiet and humble man who was loved and adored by hundreds. His family was truly blessed to have him, and his friends were blessed even more to know him. There are so many wonderful things that can be said about Don throughout his life. He always put the feelings of others first. He stood back in the shadows and let everyone else shine in the light that he always seemed to create. His spirit always glowed with happiness, and his heart always broke with sadness. He loved deep, and he gave everything unselfishly. He always stood strong and proud – even to the end. His legacy will go on – he will never be forgotten, and he will forever live in the hearts of those who knew him. A great man indeed!
Tug Brock: “Donny was always the type of man that put others first. He would give you the shirt off his back and the last dollar out of his pocket, no matter how cold or hungry he might have been. Though he never had children, he and I hit it off right away, and we quickly developed a father/son relationship almost overnight. He treated his grandchildren Jacey, Alex and Colton, especially Colton, as his own. I don’t know what his and Colton’s connection was, but Donny stopped everything he was doing when that little boy was with his Poppy. When Colton was born, Donny got to hold him when he was about 4 hours old. We remember him saying that he’s never held a baby before.
Donny was the quiet, humble type. He honestly never spoke bad about anybody, I don’t care who it was. If he didn’t like you, you’d never know it, and neither would anybody else. He cared about the towing industry more than anybody I may ever meet in my lifetime. Donny was instrumental in many changes to the industry, and nothing pleased him more than seeing towers working together as an ally.
In one personal experience that I had with Donny, I had towed a van for the local police. The vehicle had broken down, and the family was from out of town. I towed the vehicle back to our shop. They had a little girl with them, about 7 years old, who had a rare skin disease, and she was en route to Childrens’ Hospital in Cincinnati for treatment. Once we diagnosed the vehicle, the husband told us to go ahead and make the repairs and that he had to try to call back home to borrow the money. Donny gave the family a ride to Childrens’ for treatment and told them to call us the next day when they were ready to come back. Upon their return the next day, the man had several credit card numbers in which to pay his bill. Donny tore up the bill and told the man to take care of that baby girl.
Once the man left, I looked at Donny and said, “That was very nice of you.” To which he replied, “Karma, Son, Karma” and out the door he went.”