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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