American Veteran 04

Donald Hellison

February 25, 1938 ~ June 6, 2018 (age 80)


Don Hellison, 80, passed away June 6, 2018.  He was born on February 25, 1938 in Elmhurst, Illinois to the late Raymond and Mildred Hellison.  Don was a proud alum of Kent State University and Ohio State University, where he received his Doctorate.  Don proudly served in the US Marine Corp. 


For over 40 years, Don had been committed to developing a model focused on teaching life skills and values through physical activity. He truly epitomizes the spirit, energy, and conviction of a trailblazer. Today, his work continues to have a significant impact on the field of Physical Education.  Don worked with some tough kids in hard inner-city schools. He travelled extensively across the United States and across the world teaching as a professor and a lecturer helping educators to learn his unique physical education philosophy. Don wrote six books including Teaching Physical and Social Responsibility Through Physical Activity.  He was the winner of many awards including the Gulick Medal and was awarded the International Olympic Committee’s President Prize in Lausanne, Switzerland in 1995.  Don was considered the "father" of humanistic Physical Education. For many years he served as a Professor at Portland State and the University of Illinois – Chicago, School of Kinesiology, and directed The Urban Youth Leader Project for underserved children and youth in Chicago.


Don is survived by his wife, Judith Hellison; as well as many cousins, and other family and friends.   


Per Don’s wishes, cremation has taken place and an inurnment with military honors will be held at 10 A.M. on Thursday, June 21, 2018 at Ohio Western Reserve National Cemetery, 10175 Rawiga Road, Rittman, Ohio 44273.  A celebration of his life will take place from 1 to 3 P.M. on Saturday, June 30, 2018 at the Crowne Plaza Chicago West Loop, 733 West Madison, Chicago, Illinois 60661.  Memorial contributions may be made in Don’s name to Open Meadow Learning Center, now known as Open School, 7633 N. Wabash Ave., Portland, Oregon 97217, or to Monmouth College, Donald R. Hellison Scholarship Award, 700 E. Broadway, Monmouth, Illinois 61462.  To leave a special message online for the family, visit our website at


(330) 899-9107

To plant a tree in memory of Donald Hellison, please visit our tribute store.


June 21, 2018

10:00 AM
Ohio Western Reserve National Cemetery
10175 Rawiga Rd
Rittman, Ohio 44270

Gathering of Family and Friends
June 30, 2018

1:00 PM to 3:00 PM
Crown Plaza, Chicago West Loop
733 West Madison
Chicago, IL 60661

© 2020 Schermesser Funeral Home. All Rights Reserved. Funeral Home website by CFS & TA | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy