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First Responders Pay Tribute to One of Their Own as Doug Smerkar Is Laid to Rest in Fryburg

Monday, February 7, 2022 @ 06:02 AM

Posted by Jake Bauer

1M9A8191 copy copyFRYBURG, Pa. (EYT) – First responders from across Clarion County and beyond joined family and friends to pay their last respects to longtime Washington Township firefighter Doug Smerkar on Saturday.

Smerkar, 63, of Fryburg, passed away on Monday, January 31, 2022, after a courageous battle with cancer.

Doug’s time with Washington Township Volunteer Fire Department dates back to the 1970s. He held many positions within the fire department, including Fire Chief. Most recently, he served as an engineer. He also served on the board of the Shippenville/Elk Ambulance Service.


No matter where Doug worked, he excelled.

After graduating from North Clarion High School, Doug attended Triangle Tech, where he concentrated on welding in preparation for a long career at Ti-Brook Trailer/Trail King Trailers in Brookville. He remained employed there until the plant shut down in 2010.

He then went to work for CP Leach Insurance, where he put his extensive firefighting knowledge to use as a fire department insurance specialist.

Doug then took a job as a salesperson for Glatfelter Insurance Group where he found success in a similar role, earning Salesman of the Year award for 2020 and 2021.

Video and photos by Dave Cyphert/ProPoint Media Photography

Dedication to the community and desire to help others runs deep in the Smerkar household.

Doug’s father, the late Raymond Smerkar, was also a volunteer firefighter for Washington Township.

Doug’s wife of 40 years, Julie, worked as a nurse at Clarion-Forest VNA.

His sons Shane and Mathias work as supervisors at Clarion County Department of Public Safety while carrying on the firefighting tradition at Washington Township, where Shane serves as Fire Chief and Mathias is an EMT. Mathias also serves as an EMT at Southern Clarion County Ambulance Service.

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(Pictured: Mathias Smerkar (driver) and Shane Smerkar (passenger)

His daughter Darla is a special needs caregiver.

Doug is also survived by his daughter-in-law Jenna, grandson Aiden Smerkar, and granddaughter Sara Smerkar. Siblings surviving include Peggy Schoch and husband Ed; Charlene Frack and husband Marvin; Sam Smerkar and wife Ann; and Valerie Fisher and husband Daniel. Numerous nieces and nephews also survive.

After a mass at St. Michael’s Church along Main Street in Fryburg, Smerkar was laid to rest at the church’s adjacent cemetery. The mass was presided over by Rev. Michael Polinek.

Video and photos by Dave Cyphert/ProPoint Media Photography

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