1928 - 2015
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NAPERVILLE - Naperville's Trolley Meister and community advocate who 63-years ago married his childhood sweetheart, Jean Knoch, died on Sunday, May 17, 2015, at his home in Naperville. He was 87. Just last summer he did a perfect back flip off the low board at Centennial Beach. Donald E. Wehrli was born on February 28, 1928, the 7th of 13 children. He grew up in the original Pre-Emption House on Chicago Avenue in downtown Naperville. He attended Saints Peter & Paul Grade School and Naperville High School (Class of 1946). He served as U.S. Army Records Specialist followed by a career in sales. Don managed the Dickenson Jam & Jelly Shop in Disneyland in the 1950s where Walt Disney told him, "Don, there is great satisfaction in making other people happy." He never forgot that. He was elected to the Naperville City Council 1983-1987. He played in and later refereed the annual Turkey Bowl football game. He was fond of sayings and pleased to be published in Bits & Pieces: "Live a Life of Awareness." Don began Naperville Trolley & Tours in 1995. He delighted in telling the history of Naperville and welcoming people aboard to celebrate their happy occasions. The business grew to four trolleys and was recently sold to his daughter. He planned his work and worked his plan. He handed out thousands of "Attitude" cards. He directed his energies toward gardening, exercise, speaking at public forums, working to support his family, volunteering for Naperville Evening Kiwanis and helping to build the Naperville Riverwalk. "I think there are two kinds of people in the world, givers and takers. Givers are happy," he said. He was a Past Commander of American Legion Naperville Post 43, inducted into the Saints Peter & Paul School Hall of Honors in 2006 and received the Naperville Jaycees Lifetime Achievement Award in 2011. His good attitude, loving family and friends, and the musical comfort of his favorite record, "London in Love," helped him through his final struggle with prostate cancer. In addition to his wife, Don is survived by 7 children, Mary Lou (Herb), Win (Deborah), Fred (Anne), Jill, Francie, Annette and Grant (Sharon); 14 grandchildren Sarah, Megan (Travis), Lauren (Josh), Michelle (Aaron), Dana, Michael (Colleen), Austin, Elizabeth, Kayla, Colette, Jack, Jake, Joe, and Luke; and 2 great-grandchildren Emma and Ben. Visitation is at Friedrich-Jones Funeral Home at 44 S. Mill Street on Wednesday, May 20th from 2 to 9pm. Mass of Christian burial will be held on Thursday, May 21st at 11am at Saints Peter & Paul Catholic Church, 36 N. Ellsworth Street, Naperville, with interment immediately following. Memorials may be made by casting your vote in all elections and to the Abraham Lincoln Sculpture, Century Walk, 34 W. Chicago Avenue, Naperville IL 60540 or We Grow Dreams, started by Naperville parents, 1055 W. Washington Street, West Chicago IL 60185 ( For information, please call 630-355-0213 or visit .

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Published in Daily Herald on May 18, 2015.
02:00 - 09:00 PM
Mass of Christian Burial
11:00 AM
Memories & Condolences
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12 entries
June 2, 2015
It was such a suprise to hear of Don's passing. He and Jean have been in my life as long as I can remember. Even when we moved to California! I love you Don and your great sense of humor.
Debbi Ramsay
May 23, 2015
I remember the day Don pulled his brand new trolley onto Jackson Avenue after bringing it up from Florida. He pulled us all out of the Chamber office which shared space with the Sun at that time. I think our staff were among the first to take a ride. Don was a great character and will be missed.
Jennie Gates
May 19, 2015
I celebrated my 24th anniversary yesterday --uncle Don and Aunt Jean hosted our Wehrli wedding shower at their home in 1991 and were my first introduction to the giant wonderful Wehrli clan! Their kindness and generosity will always be fondly remembered. I franlky thought uncle Don would live forever-- his passing is a great loss for all and I know he is watching over all of his family, loved ones and friends with that enormous smile and has probably already started causing laughter and shenanigans in heaven. with sadness and love Colleen and Teddy Kuhn
Colleen Kuhn
May 19, 2015
Don was the kind of guy you could stop on the street and he always had time to talk to you. I once asked him about his Central Park proposal and he explained it to me in great detail. I may still have the flyer he handed me. He was proud of his town and used his trolley business to help show it off. He will be missed.
Paul Mejia
May 19, 2015
On behalf of the Bollweg Families in Wheaton, Warrenville and West Chicago, we send our love, and prayers to you all. We grieve with you and pray that you would sense the presence of the Lord in a very special way, with peace and comfort. Don had touched many lives and we are glad to have known such a wonderful man. We thank the Lord for the Hope we have in Him that next time we meet we will never have to say good bye again. Peace and comfort be with you all!
Stacia Bollweg/Goodman
May 19, 2015
To All the Wehrlies Don did a lot for our town which we all love so much. Thank You Don. You will be missed! Inger Huber
Inger Huber
May 18, 2015
Best Buddies (George & Don)
Don was a great friend, always happy and smiling. Everyone enjoyed being around him. My favorite memory was in 1998, Don and his lovely wife Jean, surprised us by going on the same Cruise Ship that we were on going through the Panama Canal.
Karen Anonich
May 18, 2015
We are honored to have had you as a neighbor and friend. Our prayers go out to the entire family.
Sue & Al Nuti
May 18, 2015
Dear Precious Friends,

Our hearts, love and prayers go out to you with the home going of Don. We rejoice with you knowing the hope we have in Jesus that you will see Don again. In times of sorrow we hear the voice of the Good Shepherd calling us closer to Himself. For only He can provide for our every need.

Praying that you'll be comforted by the many thoughts of love sent your way and by the countless prayers of those who care. Above you is the Lord's covering, beneath you is His strength and security and around you are His arms of love.

May His presence bring you every comfort and tender compassion at this present moment. May you be comforted with the assurance that God has prepared a bright and glorious tomorrow for Don.

We share in your loss and send our deepest sympathy and prayers.

In His love and ours,

Rolf & Sherri
Rolf & Sherri Ronstadt
May 18, 2015
We all grew up with the Wehrli family in Naperville. They were pillars of the community. All wonderful people. Don will be greatly missed. Thoughts and prayers to the family.
Dorothy (Weldy) Seaborg
May 18, 2015
To all the Wehrli Family
My heart and prayers go to the family, Mr Don always had a great big smile on his face. Always warm hearted. He will be missed
Jan Bennett
May 18, 2015
To the whole Wherli family,your father was a great man.A huge loss to all who knew him.Tim and Sue Zitt Stockton missouri
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