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Donald Edward Weinkauf, age 86, passed away on Friday, March 8, in hospice at Mount View Care Center, in Wausau, Wisconsin. He lived a life of deep civic engagement, optimism, and love of family. He had many long-time friends, not to mention a series of beloved family dogs. His life embodied one of his favorite sayings, “yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, but today is a gift. That is why it is called the ‘present.’”
Don was born on September 5, 1932, in Wausau, to Arnold and Gladyce (Saterstrom) Weinkauf. After graduating from Wausau High School in 1950, he attended the University of Wisconsin Marathon County, and then earned his bachelor’s degree in 1954 and Masters’ in Business Administration in 1956 from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, where he was in the R.O.T.C. Don married his college sweetheart, Susan Rogers of Whitefish Bay, Wisconsin, on August 18, 1956.
Don and Sue left Wisconsin from 1956-58 while Don was commissioned in the Army Corps of Engineers, serving at Fort Belvoir, Virginia, and then Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri, ultimately serving as a First Lieutenant.
Upon return to Wausau in 1958, Don worked as a business manager and partner with the engineering firm, Becher-Hoppe Associates. He later joined First American Bank as a Senior Vice President of Operations. After leaving banking, Donald became a realtor at Security Reality of Wausau. For many years Don taught Economics as an adjunct faculty member at University of Wisconsin, Marathon County.
Civic and charitable pursuits were central to Don’s life. He was a member of the Scottish Rite body of Freemasonry since 1960, becoming the President and Treasurer of the Forest Lodge in Wausau, and also a member of the Tripoli Temple Shriners. He invested in the Wausau community and found fellowship through membership in The Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks (since 1953), Golden Kiwanis Club, and the Wausau Optimist Club, of which he is a past District Lieutenant Governor and President. He was a member of the Board of Directors of the Wisconsin Valley Workshop (North Central Health Care) and the United Way, and former President of the Board for the Salvation Army of Wausau. Don was also a long-time member of St. John’s Episcopal Church, where he served as a Junior and Senior Warden, Member of the Vestry, and Co-Chair for the remodel of Memorial Hall.
Don loved his friends, many dating back to “Newcomers’ Cub” in the mid-1950’s. He enjoyed years of Pot Luck Club, Poker Club, and trips to Jerry Baehman’s “Deer Camp” (which, for him, did not involve hunting). It took a lot for Don to miss his weekly lunch groups at the Elk’s Lodge, and the Hiawatha Lounge, which he stopped only recently by necessity. For many years, Don and Sue enjoyed curling with the Wausau Curling club, traveling to many bonspiels. Don and Sue also participated in the Koo Koo Kanoe club, braving the white water rivers of Wisconsin. Don also enjoyed woodworking and refinishing antiques, reading non-fiction, and traveling abroad and in the United States. Don adored the many family dogs, most recently fluffy white Lassa-Poo, Bobo, and similarly configured Caton de Toulear, Toby.
Don is survived by his wife, Susan, daughters Catharine "Kate" Welytok (Daniel) of Bayside Wisconsin, Sarah Anderson (Mark) of Baltimore, Maryland, grandchildren Rachel, Bradford, Evelyn, Caroline, and Elizabeth, his sister Grace Allen of Temple City, California, and nieces and nephews Alice and David Allen, Kurt, Mary Beth (Frank Christ) and Michael Fischer (Lynda), Theresa Rogers Strand (Joe) and Laura Rogers Peck (David), and their children. He was preceded in death by his parents, Arnold and Gladyce, older brother, Dr. Arnold Weinkauf, his younger sister, Alice Fischer, father-in-law, Thomas Allen Rogers, mother-in-law, Catharine Louise (Edwards) Rogers, and brother-in-law, Thomas Allen Rogers, Jr.
A memorial service will be held on March 16, 2019, at 11:00 a.m. at St. John’s Episcopal Church, 330 McClellan St., Wausau. Reverend Sue Kruger will officiate. Visitation will be held from 9:30 a.m. until the time of service, all at the church. Online condolences may be made at www.brainardfuneral.com.
In Lieu of flowers, Don would be grateful for donations to the Shriner’s Hospital for Children. Gifts may be made online at https://donate.lovetotherescue.org or by calling 612-596-6207. Donations may also be made to St. Johns Episcopal Church, Wausau.