Donald ‘Don’ Frederick
June 18, 1932 — Nov. 12, 2017
Donald “Don” Frederick Gottschalk, 85, passed away on Sunday, November 12, 2017, at the beautiful home he built. His parents, Fredrick and Hazel (Gregg) Gottschalk, were blessed by his birth on June 18, 1932, in Waukesha.
Don grew up in the Town of Brookfield. He graduated from Waukesha High in 1950. After high school he began work for John Dale as a carpenter until he was drafted into the Army in October of 1952 where he spent time at Fort Gordon. Prior to leaving for Germany, Don was married to his favorite “car hop” and loving wife — Donna Rittler in 1953. In Germany, Don was assigned to the signal corps. Prior to returning home he received honors for his marksmanship and obtained the rank of corporal.
Back in the states, Don continued working as a builder for various companies before starting his own business, Don Gottschalk Designing and Building, in 1960. Don enjoyed building homes that blended, or as he put it “were in harmony” with nature. He prided himself with the fact that he never built two homes the same.
Don had many other successes to include the development of Yukon Trails Campground in Lyndon Station and the successful operation of three mobile home parks.
Don was very involved with the community in which he lived. He served 35 years on the village of Wales Plan Commission as well as serving on the Village Board for one term as village trustee. He was one of the original founding members of the Genesee-Wales Lions club, where he served as president for one year.
Don was a traveler and had a love for the national parks. He took his family to such places as Big Ben NP, Isle Royal (they hiked the whole thing), Alaska, the Yukon, Bar Harbor Maine, Yellowstone, Tetons, Zion and Bryce NP’s. Later in life Don and Donna enjoyed cruises down the Mississippi R., Rhine, Danube and Main River in Holland, Germany and Austria. They enjoyed Australia and New Zealand as well.
Don was preceded in death by his parents.
Don is survived by his wife of 64 years, Donna, of Wales; his son, Shane Gottschalk (Julie) of Jefferson; his twin daughters, Heather (Gottschalk) Andraschko (Mark) of Waupaca, and Renee’ (Gottschalk) Stephens (Tim) of Pony, Mt.; and grandchild, Dylan Gottschalk.
A memorial service will be held at Church and Chapel Funeral Home, 380 Bluemound Road (at highways J and JJ, four blocks south of Interstate 94), Waukesha, at 6 p.m. November 21. A visitation will be held at the same location from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorial donations be made to the Wisconsin Wildlife Federation or the Samaritan’s Purse-Operation Heal our Patriots.
Church and Chapel Rudolph-Larsen Bros. Funeral Home is serving the family. For more information, call 262-549-0659 or visit www.churchandchapel.com to view the online obituary, leave condolences or receive directions.