Donald Phillips Wilkinson

Groton, CT, Connecticut


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Groton - Donald Phillips Wilkinson, 54, known affectionately as "Donzo", died on Saturday, Sept. 4, 2010, in a sailing accident while racing in Fishers Island Sound.In addition to great friends, he leaves his wife of 17 years, Anne (Hohenstein) Wilkinson and his children, Benjamin and...

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I heard of Donzo's passing from a friend, Duane MacPhail, who sailed with him aboard Shadow, my 56 foot Soverel ocean racer. Donzo delivered her back to Southern California through the Panama Canal after she had won the 1984 SORC Class A having won 5 of 6 races earning an article in Sports Illustrated. She also won the Rolex before coming home.

While I have not seen him since then, he made a lasting impression on me by his total competence aboard Shadow and, in particular, his...

Dear Anne, Ben and Sarah,

The Crew of Siren's Song, Mystic sends you its deepest sympathy at the loss of your Husband, Dad, Racing Buddy, Sailing Partner.

On the behalf of the Baldwin Yacht Club, I send you and your family and his family the membership's deepest sympathy.

The Marsh Family,
Rock, Cathy, Katie and Eric

I knew him from setting him up as a Storm Catcher hurricane protection dealer and helping him get started in the business. He was enthusiastic, eager to learn and determined. He was just beginning to see success in this business and I know that we at Storm Smart - Wholesale Division, Ft. Myers, Florida, and his customers in the Northeast will miss him and feel the loss.

Anne, Ben and Sarah-

I'm so sorry for the tragic loss of your husband/father. I have many fond memories of sailing with and against Donzo. He will be sadly missed.

John Fries

Decades Ago Donzo's infectious laughter and passion for sailing made racing in the early Mud Head era a joy on any boat he spent time aboard, including the Tartan Ten "Shakin". Sail on Donzo, you have left many in your wake and in your debt. Wayne L. Burdick
Beneteau USA, Marion, SC

Met Don a couple times - went on a shakedown on Bob Evelyn's first '42 - I remember there was no wind at all, but they managed to get speed out of her anyway. And then again at a party where, well, I guess I don't remember it all that well. But Donnie definitely made an impression.

Learned about Donnie's death this morning, and though I didn't know him well, he seemed like a really great guy, and a passionate and exceptional sailor. I wanted to write in and give you all my most...

Your infectious smile and laughter and the wonderful memories of our times sailing, partying and having fun when we were young. You will be missed. My heart goes out to Anne and the children. Sweet travels my friend and love always.

I knew Donzo from his days as Captain of Fujimo at Bayview Yacht Club in Detroit. I was on another fifty footer, in fact dock partner to Fujimo. Those summer days spent with him are a big part of my memories. I also had the opportunity to travel in tandem with him through the Erie Barge Canal from Block Island back to Detroit. Each evening on the canal it was always a treat to tie up along side Fujimo and discuss our day on the water. It's a terrible loss for the entire sailing...

Anne: I am very sorry for the loss of Donzo. Karen and I wish you and your family the best through this awful time.