Don was born September 5, 1930 to the late Earl & Evelyn (Redfield) Gaedtke in Stevens Point. He grew up there and attended the local schools.
In his early years, Donald was always ambitious with jobs as a paper boy and other typical young boy aspirations.
He enlisted in the US Navy and served as a medic during the Korean War. He was honorably discharged on October 31, 1951.
Following his military service, Donald took a job at Point Sporting Goods in Stevens Point, WI. It was there that he met the love of his life, Mavis Brocker.
He married Mavis on September 30, 1952 at Trinity Lutheran Church.
Don eventually moved on to other employment. He worked for the Tommy Thompson Company as a manufacturer’s representative. While working there, he earned many awards and commendations for this work; especially from the Zebco Corporation.
Don was a humble, quiet, soft-spoken man who enjoyed spending time with his family. In his spare time, he also enjoyed sports, traveling, tending to his vegetable garden, and cutting his grass; his biggest challenge was keeping the squirrels out of the bird feeders. Don was a member of the Elks Club and Trinity Lutheran Church. He was an avid fisherman who always knew just where the fish were biting.
Don will be remembered most as a loving and devoted husband; a loving father, grandfather, great grandfather, and uncle.
He is survived by his wife of 63 years, Mavis; daughters, Robin (Ken) Daley-Burke of Brooklyn, NY and Jeanne Waterson of Stevens Point; granddaughters, Ann & Tammi Waterson; great-granddaughter, Carmen Halverson. He is further survived by brother, Jerome “Jiggs” Gaedtke of Buena Vista, AR; sister, LouAnne (Gene) Roy; and numerous nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Earl and Evelyn Redfield; a brother, William; and two infant boys.
A visitation will be held Tuesday, April 19, 2016 from 9:00 a.m. until 11:00 a.m. at Trinity Lutheran Church. A Service will be held at 11:00 a.m. with a luncheon to follow. A private burial will be held in Forest Cemetery.
Online condolences may be made to www.bostonfuneralhome.net.
Don touched many lives and he will be dearly missed by all.