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Wilbur O'Neil Donner

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Wilbur O'Neil Donner Notice
Donner, Wilbur O'NeilAge 89, of Orlando, FL, went home to be with our Lord, Jesus Christ, on September 2, 2013 after a long struggle with Parkinson's disease. He was born to Orley and Laura Papke Donner on February 7, 1924 in Town of Lake, Wisconsin. He grew up in Janesville, Wisconsin. Following high school, he served his country in World War II, enlisting in the Army and serving with the U.S. Strategic Bombing Survey in the European Theatre of Operations from 1943 to 1946. After the war he and his first wife moved to Ft. Pierce, FL to open a Culligan Water Conditioning dealership, serving St. Lucie, Martin, Indian River, and Okeechobee counties. Bill was never happier than when he was serving and helping others. He was an avid bass fisherman and enjoyed entertaining friends and neighbors at Friday night fish frys. He also enjoyed tending his rose garden and citrus trees. He was a man of unwavering faith and served as usher and greeter at his church for many years before his illness. Bill was preceded in death by his first wife, Shirley Bieck Donner, his daughter, Laurie Hawkins, his son, Gary Donner, his brother, and three sisters. He is survived by his wife, Gerry, son Jeff Donner (Nancy) Sebastian, FL, daughter-in-law, Nellie Donner, Ft. Pierce, FL, son-in-law, Bruce Hawkins, Winter Park, FL, step-children Bill Center (Marion), Alexandria, VA, Cary Center (Sally), Ellen Demetree (Paul), and David Center (Cindy) of Orlando, FL, 10 grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren. Bill's family is very appreciative of the many caregivers who lovingly cared for him in the last years of his life, especially Denise, Stacy, and Jackie; for the folks at Easter Seals Daybreak, who doted on him and made his last year fun and interesting; and for the incredible staff and volunteers at Hospice of the Comforter who tenderly cared for him in his final days. A celebration of Bill's life will be held on Saturday, Sept. 7th, at 11:00 am at St. Luke's Lutheran Church in Oviedo. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorial gifts be directed to St. Luke's Lutheran Church, St. Luke's Lutheran School, or the Lutheran Haven Benevolence Fund c/o St. Luke's Lutheran Church, 2021 W. SR 426, Oviedo, FL 32765.

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Published in the Orlando Sentinel from Sept. 5 to Sept. 6, 2013
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