Donald Gaertner
1939 - 2015
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Donald Adolf


Donald Adolf Gaertner, 76, passed away Saturday, July 18 in a local hospital.

Don was born May 10, 1939, to Adolf and Hertha Gaertner in Queens, New York. After attending PS 147 in Cambria Heights (Queens), New York, Don was graduated from Brooklyn Technical High School. In 1962, he earned his bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering from Cornell University in Ithaca, New York and in 1971, earned his masters of business administration from the University of Delaware. At Cornell he was a member of the Seal and Serpent Society.

Don married Margaret (Peggy) Davies June 8, 1963. They were happily married for 52 years. For three years they lived in southern Germany while Don served his ROTC commitment in the U.S. Army. He was honorably discharged after four years with a rank of captain.

Don's entire working career was in engineering with the Westinghouse Electric Corporation which brought Don and his family to Pensacola in 1987. His work took him to many countries including Japan, Israel, and nearly all of western Europe.In Pennsylvania Don served terms on the St. Timothy's Lutheran Church Council; in Pensacola he served many years on the property committee at First Presbyterian Church. Don's interests and activities were many. Hiking, especially in the Canadian Rockies, and daily runs were favorite activities. He was a top-notch baker, and enjoyed raising vegetables in his 50' by 50' garden. Playing bridge, repairing things, and building a t.v. set were challenges he enjoyed tackling.

Don's joy was his three daughters and two grandchildren. His oldest daughter is Margaret of Portland, Maine; then Christina Pisani of Vienna, Virginia, married to Rinaldi Pisani; and Heidi of Seattle, Washington. His two granddaughters Julia (14) and Mia (10) Pisani gave Don quiet pride. Don was always heavily involved in his daughters' activities whether it was as nursery school board chair, softball coach, swim team president, or tutor to his daughters and their friends.

Don is also survived by his two sisters, Ursula Craigie (Dick Thomas) of Leesburg, Florida and Faith Nichols (Tony) of Locust, North Carolina.

A memorial service will be held Friday at 1 p.m. at First Presbyterian Church of Pensacola, 33 East Gregory Street. A reception will follow in the church parlor. In lieu of flowers, Don would have liked donations to United Ministries of Pensacola or First Presbyterian Church.

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Published in the Pensacola News Journal on Jul. 23, 2015.
No memorial events are currently scheduled. To offer your sympathy during this difficult time, you can now have memorial trees planted in a National Forest in memory of your loved one.
Memories & Condolences
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5 entries
January 19, 2016
So sorry to learn of his passing through the Cornell Alumni Magazine. My wife Barb (Ballweg) and I were classmates of Don's at Cornell. We remember him as a fun loving guy and participant at our student activities at the Lutheran Church. Our condolences to his family. Bob Everson Cornell '61
Bob Everson
July 31, 2015
I just read of Don's passing. He was such a wonderful person! I worked as the department secretary during his Westinghouse days; he was simply wonderful to work with; so thoughtful and kind. Sorry to hear of his passing.
Nellie Herring
July 24, 2015
I am so sorry for your loss. Our thoughts and prayers are with you in this difficult time.
Love, Cindy and Larry Stichweh,
Cindy Stichweh
July 23, 2015
Peggy and family,
I read this morning of your loss, remembering Don's and your many kindnesses and warm hospitality. Don's humor was so wonderfully subtle, as was the ease with which he made those around him comfortable.
Such a gentleman!
Bill Sutton
July 21, 2015
Dear Peggy and family,

Our thoughts and prayers are with you at this time of sorrow. Don was a wonderful man who will be missed by many.

Blessings. Jeff and Traci
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