Email your memories to Joyce
From Joshua Wickwire (son of Chris, son of
Donald): "An Awesome Grandpa" I have much honor in my heart and mind for my Grandpa. He was a man
that was worthy of this. My Grandpa was a selfless and loving man, who was
described to me by some of my friends that met him as a "t.v. grandpa",
because he spoke and acted like a character that was created for his part
as a grandpa. He told long stories that were very interesting, even after
the third or fourth time you heard them. He never complained about anything,
and was the first person to give his time and/or his money to benefit another.
His 1972 Firebird was the first car I drove! He loved that car, but still
didn't mind letting a goofy kid drive it around town. He was the kind of character
that you didn't want to see leave the show.
I hope that I can display at least a few of the outstanding characteristics that my Grandpa showed to me, and have half the personality that he had. I know that my children and even their children, would benefit endlessly from the mark that my Grandpa left on me.
Even though this time is sad, I know that my Grandpa would not have wanted us to be so focused on his death, but rather on the life that is still here and going on around us. He was a very thankful man, that had a beautiful way of seeing the things that we have been blessed with in this life, instead of focusing on the things we are without.
From a grandson that is appreciative beyond words for the parts of your life that you gave up for me and the things that you have taught me, I love you Grandpa, you will be missed...... -Josh
From Alice, his sister:
My earliest memory of Don was when I was 3, or, possibly, 4. We lived in Philadelphia about 1/2 block from a school. One day, I wandered to the schoolyard where I stood outside the playground fence, wishing I could go inside and play with the kids at recess. Two of the "big" kids started yelling insults at me and calling me names. My "BIG" brother yelled at them and made them leave me alone. I thought he was wonderful and have always found things to admire about him.
I admired his perseverance in learning music. Once when a whistler appeared at school assembly, Don practiced and practiced until he could mimic almost any bird call. He practiced a Jews Harp and a piano accordion and, eventually, played the piano and organ with great expertise. I remember the two- piano duet that Don and our eldest sister, Dora, played.
I admired Don's mathematical abilities. He is the only person I ever knew who always knew which card played by everyone in a bridge game. I never knew exactly what Don did at GE, but I always thought it had to do with setting up computer programs in the days when a computer filled a whole room; and, I also thought, that involved mathematics in some way. (Of course, what do I know? I'm a tech idiot!)
Most of all, I admired Don's role as a parent. Anyone who had teenagers in the 60's, none of whom ended up in prison, (as far as I know!) was a successful parent!
Don was 5 years older than I, and he was really close to Dora who was the oldest. With 2 sisters between him and me, I didn't know him as well as I did our other siblings. I think that has been my loss.