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Donald Leo Gerwig
March 12, 1928 ~ January 7, 2024 (age 95) 95 Years Old
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Donald (Don) Leo Gerwig, age 95, passed away on January 7th, 2024 at his Acts Country House residence in Greenville, Delaware. A native of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, he lived for 70 years in Wilmington, Delaware. Don kept true to the Midwestern values he was raised with, quietly demonstrating his love of family, friends and community with kind and thoughtful actions. His humble character and subtle sense of humor endeared him to those who knew him.
Don first came to Wilmington in 1953 to visit his brother, Robert. Don had just completed his active Korean War service in the US. Army Audit Agency and had started law school at the University of Michigan. With his work experience and his B.A in Economics and his M.A in Accounting from the University of Iowa, Don modified his career path by accepting a position in the Treasury Department at Hercules and completing his law degree at Temple University. In 1957, Don was transferred to Birmingham, AL. There, he met and married his wife, Juanita. He returned to Wilmington in 1960 with Juanita and his first daughter, Elizabeth Ann; a second daughter, Donna Lee, soon followed. Don created a contented life for himself and his family.
After retirement from Hercules in 1985, Don found it easy to fill his days with his hobbies and volunteer interests. Don believed in the power of lifelong learning. For thirty years, he took advantage of the wide variety of classes offered at the University of Delaware OLLI. He enjoyed a daily habit of studying financial news publications. Don and Juanita, were long-standing members of Westminster Presbyterian Church where Don was active in fellowship, leadership and mission work. Don was a member of The Masonic Fraternity, Granite Lodge #34, Nur Temple Shrine, and the Delaware Scottish Rite, where he was a 33rd degree Mason. Don was an amateur musician best known for playing saxophone and clarinet in Big Band orchestras, playing well into his 80s. Don was also a farmer at heart. As a homeowner, he kept a well manicured lawn and tended to many vegetable gardens. It gave him great pleasure to share his vegetable bounty with friends and to volunteer as a Master Gardener on horticultural projects in support of his community.
Don and Juanita enjoyed taking road trips together to visit family and friends, choosing their destination with the changing seasons for the most scenic drives. Don was a resident of Country House for eighteen years, the last ten on his own, after Juanita passed away. Don developed lasting friendships with residents and staff at Country House due to his active involvement in Country House life. As he transitioned from independent living to the healthcare wing at Country House, he never stopped his daily quest for activities he could enjoy. “Where’s Don?” was a common question asked by family, friends and Country House staff alike.
Don is survived by his brother, Robert W. Gerwig of Naples, FL.; his two daughters, Beth Gerwig of Ann Arbor, MI, and Donna Huber (Kenneth) of Minneapolis, MN; and four grandchildren.
A Memorial Service will be held on Monday, February 19, 2024 at 10AM at the Country House Performing Arts Center, 4830 Kennett Pike, Wilmington, DE, with a reception to follow.
The family would like to thank the staff at Country House for their countless acts of assistance and friendship; with a special and grateful “thumbs up” to Don’s Willowbrook Court caregivers and Acts Signature Hospice team for their loving care.
In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to Westminster Presbyterian Church or The Acts Legacy Foundation (designation Country House Willowbrook Court or Memorial Scholarship Fund).