WEST LIBERTY, W.Va., Feb. 14, 2017 — Former longtime West Liberty University professor and chairman of the Criminal Justice Program, Donald Bordenkircher, 81, passed away Jan. 14, 2017.
“Don Bordenkircher was instrumental in the expansion and evolution of our Criminal Justice program. Our highest enrollments in the CJ program occurred under the leadership of Don, who was an effective instructor and advisor, and a faculty member who was well liked and highly respected by his students. He brought an unparalleled wealth of professional experience to the classroom. We are certainly saddened by Don’s passing, but he will long be remembered as a colleague and as an outstanding leader of our Criminal Justice program,” said President Emeritus Dr. John McCullough, who served as provost during Bordenkircher’s time on the Hilltop.
Don was joined in death by his wife, Shirley Bordenkircher, 76, who passed away Feb. 4, 2017. Both resided in Port Charlotte, Fla.
Don was born in Cochocton, Ohio, on Dec. 26, 1935, to the late Donald and Virginia Bordenkircher. Shirley was born in Manteca, Ca., on May 28, 1940, to the late Gordon and Martha Young. Don was preceded in death by his brother Dale and sister Virginia Lynn.
During the Korean War, Don Bordenkircher enlisted in the United States Navy where he served in Japan as a radio operator and earned the National Defense Service Medal. In 1957 he was a correctional officer at San Quentin State Prison in California. He then was employed in 1967 by the Office of Public Safety where he was assigned as the principal advisor to the Director of Corrections in the Republic of South Vietnam, all the while visiting weekly with his family who lived in Taipei, Taiwan.
Upon returning to the United States in 1969, he was assigned to the Washington D.C. Office of Public Safety. He was then appointed as the Warden of the West Virginia State Penitentiary in 1973, the Warden of the Kentucky State Penitentiary in 1976, and again the Warden of the West Virginia State Penitentiary in 1980. He was then elected as sheriff of Marshall County in 1984.
In 1989, he began a 15-year tenure as professor and chairman of the Criminal Justice Program at West Liberty State College, while simultaneously holding down the position of Moundsville Chief of Police from 1990 to 1993.
He earned a bachelor’s degree at Marshall University in 1975 and a bachelor’s at WLU in 2005. He also earned a master’s degree at West Virginia University.
After his retirement in 2004, at the age of 69 he began two years of employment as a civilian contractor and served as senior advisor to the Iraqi Director General of Corrections stationed in Bagdad where he closed down the infamous Abu Ghraib Prison. Then, after two years of fishing and golfing, he again returned to Iraq in a higher position for another two years.
Finally, in 2011, he and Shirley fully retired to enjoy the rest of their lives in Florida.
During their 58 years of marriage, Shirley served on many committees, was a writer who self published three books, and owned a formalwear business, but she would tell you that her main job in life was to raise her two children and “hold down the fort” so Don could tend to his calling. She was a very loving and dedicated mother and wife.
Surviving are Don’s brother David (Sharon) Bordenkircher, and his sister Mary Jean Evans all in Nevada, sister-in-law Donna Bordenkircher of California, and Shirley’s brother Robert (Eileen) Young, and sister Dr. Margo Young, both of California; son Chris (Luz) Bordenkircher of Port Charlotte, FL; daughter Shannon (Stanley) Blankenship of Moundsville, WV, grandchildren Shera Blankenship Rogers of Moundsville, WV; Don (Mary) Bordenkircher of Paden City, WV; Amy (Jarrell) Bailey of Wheeling, WV; Dan (Angela) Blankenship of Westfield, NJ; Sergio Vargas of Coral Springs, Florida; Ivan Bahamon of Bogota, Colombia and Mauricio Bahamon of Bogota, Colombia, 17 treasured greatgrandchildren, and many nieces and nephews.
A private burial was held at Sarasota National Cemetery in Sarasota, Florida for both.
EDITOR’S NOTE: This information is taken from the website of Michels & Lundquist Funeral Home, 5228 Trouble Creek Road, New Port Richey, Fla.