The Western Pennsylvania Conservancy is saddened by the loss of Donald W. Hamer, who passed away on July 12, 2016. Don was a philanthropic leader in the region and a longtime friend of the Conservancy who cared deeply for the preservation of Pennsylvania’s natural resources.

Don was the founder of State of the Art, Inc., which became the leading manufacturer of high reliability chip resistors for microelectronics. Though an Illinois native, Don moved to State College, Pa., in the 1960s and quickly recognized the value of protecting the region’s land, habitat and rare species.

Don made his first gift to the Conservancy 27 years ago, and in 2012, committed $1 million to WPC’s Our Shared Legacy campaign—the largest outright individual gift in the Conservancy’s history. The majority of this generous donation was designated for conserving land within a 50-mile radius of State College.

“Don Hamer was a very special person to the Conservancy and all of us who work here,” said Tom Saunders, president and CEO of the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy. “It was always such a pleasure to spend time with Don. He provided thoughtful guidance, was inquisitive about our work and interested in our directions and outcomes, and was so smart, warm and engaged. It goes without saying that Don was extraordinarily generous and made a great impact on the Conservancy. But more than that we miss him personally and will always remember what a wonderful, generous and kind person he was.”

WPC passes on its sincere condolences to his wife, Marie Bednar, and other family members.