HM3 Steve "Doc" Lakernick

Allentown, Pennsylvania

1948 - 2019

After They Are Gone

When someone we love passes away,
We ache, but we go on;
Our dear departed would want us to heal,
After they are gone.

Grief is a normal way to mend
The anguish and pain in our hearts;
We need time to remember and time to mourn,
Before the recovery starts.

Let's draw together to recuperate,
As we go through this period of sorrow;
Let's help each other, with tender care
To find a brighter tomorrow.

By Joanna Fuchs

Guest Book

A man is not dead until he is forgotten. Go in peace and remember you are not forgotten while I am still on patrol.



Steven P. "Doc" Lakernick, 71, of L. Macungie Twp., passed away Wednesday, December 11, 2019 in his home. He and his wife, Donna J. (Mathias) Pfost, celebrated their 14th anniversary. Born in Philadelphia, he was the son of the late Fritz and Rose (Felstein) Lakernick and was of the Jewish faith. "Once a Marine, always a Marine", he was a Vietnam veteran and served as the District III Director of the Vietnam Veterans of America, Inc. (Pennsylvania State Council). A former Wisconsin state police officer, Doc was employed by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania as an investigator prior to retiring in 2005. His memberships included Military Order of the Purple Heart Chapter #190 (Allentown), Liberty Bell Chapter of Marine Corps Division, Marine Corps League (RM Butterweck Detachment #465), American Legion Post #308 (Willow Grove), VFW Post #6150 (Sinking Spring), DVA, First Marine Division Association, and F. & A. M. Lehigh Lodge No. 326 (Macungie). He volunteered as a driver for Berks County Meals on Wheels through Berks Encore. A Green Bay Packers fan and lover of Disney, he will be missed by all, including by his canine companion, Buddy.

Survivors: wife; step-son, Daniel T. Pfost; step-daughters, Rebecca E. Malato and husband, Andy, Rachel E. Moore and husband, Michael; sister, Kathy Vitullo; grandchildren, Levi, Maria, Micah, Deanna.

Services: 2 PM Monday at STEPHENS FUNERAL HOME, INC. 274 N. Krocks Rd. Allentown. Visitation will be 12 PM until service time. Interment will be in Arlington National Cemetery. (

Contributions: In lieu of flowers, to First Marine Division Association PO Box 9000, Box #902 Oceanside CA 92051.
Published in Morning Call on Dec. 13, 2019

HM3 Steve "Doc" Lakernick


Doc at the 2018 Reunion in Colorado Springs

Donna and Doc at Disney World

Longtime member and officer of the Association, Steve "Doc" Lakernick, passed away at his home in Macungie, Pennsylvania on December 11.
Services: 2 PM Monday at STEPHENS FUNERAL HOME, INC. 274 N. Krocks Rd. Allentown. Visitation will be 12 PM until service time. Interment will be in Arlington National Cemetery. (

December 12, 2019
Another Vietnam hero has passed on. They must need a great Corpman in heaven. I first met Doc in 1990 when I got a job as VET REP with the Commonwealth of PA. We hit it off right away and soon became best friends. We joined Philadelphia Stand Down together in 1994 and we have rarely been apart since then. No distance was too far for us to get together. We've drove together to and from many cities to reunions of our comrades from the 1st Marine Division Assoc. I often wondered how he continued to do what he did as he was often not feeling well but he carried on just as a true hero did. Doc was my true hero. I will always love Doc as long as I live but I will miss him more. Till we meet again at our final reunion! SEMPER FIDELIS!!!
Gerard "Jerry" Corrento, Levittown, PA

December 12, 2019
Donna and Family....we are so sorry for your loss. What a life of service and dedication so wonderfully captured in the words describing his life. And the tribute to be buried in Arlington National Cemetery is quite the honor, laid to rest with countless thousands who gave their lives to our country. Please know that the Cadmus family is thinking of all of you at this time of grief. May the Shalom of God's grace and compassion bring a deep sense of peace to each of you. The Cadmus Family.

December 12, 2019
As combat brothers and defenders of our nation;
We salute our comrade who, as we have,
sacrificed much more than many can understand
to keep this nation a free nation. It is he who fought
and paid a price which so many have not done.
We of the Military Order of the Purple Heart
offer our deepest sympathy to you,
the family of our fallen comrade.
Our thoughts and prayers are with you
at this time of sorrow.
He will no longer have to suffer the wounds
of battle or of life . For he has now
found peace with his God.
In remembrance of our fallen Patriot, Semper Fi
Officers and Members:
Department of Pennsylvania
Military Order of the Purple Heart
Michael J. Mescavage, Cdr. Ret.

December 14, 2019
Carson Moyer, WHITEHALL, PA


December 13, 2019
So sorry for your loss. My prayers are with all of you.
Diane Ebner, Orlando, FL


December 13, 2019
Prayers and condolences to your family.
Wendy Rodriguez, NJ

December 13, 2019
Thank you for your service to our country. Rest In Peace

December 12, 2019

With my very heartfelt & deepest sympathy & many prayers for Mrs. Lakernick & Family on your tremendous loss of your beloved & wonderful Doc.I will miss him & our chats at AOPC.May God Bless & comfort you all as you grieve.
Joan Lockwood Smith, Slatington, PA

December 13, 2019

HM3 Steve "Doc" Lakernick
1948 - 2019

HM3 Steve "Doc" Lakernick
1st Force June 1969 - Sept. 1970


HM3 Steve "Doc" Lakernick
1948 - 2019

Doc 2009

Donna & Doc 2016

Doc's FaceBook Page