Donald Carl Groetzinger, 87, of Racine, found peace after a short but valiant fight with cancer, on July 11, 2018, surrounded by his loving family.
Don was born June 18, 1931 in Chicago, Illinois to Carl and Isabelle (nee Schroeder) Groetzinger and moved to Racine when he was 7 years old. He was united in marriage on December 23, 1950, to Helen K Peterson, the love of his life. Don and Helen were happily married for 62 ½ years before Alzheimer’s took Helen from his loving arms.
Don was an entrepreneur, starting a successful family company with Helen, on the dining room table. Now Power Lube Industrial, the company employed each of Don and Helen’s children and almost every one of 13 grandchildren, at one time or another. The company continues to thrive today with the third generation waiting in the wings.
Don and Helen sailed Lake Michigan for over 30 years in a progression of ever longer sailboats. They were 20-year members of the Racine Yacht Club and former members of the Sturgeon Bay Yacht Club. Don was a current member of the Harbor Lite Yacht Club, Deutscher Manner Verein and the Racine Country Club.
Don was a visionary. He always thought the Racine lakefront and the Racine quarry could be transformed into places of beauty. He envisioned the quarry as a botanical garden and the lakefront as a beautiful promenade, both becoming peaceful destinations for all to enjoy. This vision was for Racine to grow and thrive as a tourist destination benefiting the whole Racine economy. His final project, which he called Racine Riviera, is still a work in progress, to be carried on by good friends and partners Pippin Michelli, CEO/Chief of Staff, Ed Lazzeroni, Managing Director, and Rita Tomkiewicz.
Don is survived by his children, Randi (Terry) Young of South Fork, CO, Katie (Keith) Kramer of LeClaire, IA, Sarah (Mark) Herr of Brookfield, WI, Amy (Don) Dienberg of Racine, Eric (Shannon) Groetzinger of Ashland, OR, the “7th” child of the family, Barb (John) Mizer of Racine, 13 grandchildren, 15 great-grandchildren, along with nieces and nephews.
Don was preceded in death by his parents, his wife, Helen, eldest son Charles, sisters Marjorie Caplin and Susan Lambert, brothers-in-law Jac Caplin and Lee Peterson, and sister-in-law Bernice Peterson.
We will be forever grateful for the loving care Don received from Barb Mizer, Nettie Mahoney and Lynn Giese. The hospice caregivers from Grace Hospice and the caregivers from Synergy were also a Godsend as they gave their all, allowing Don to remain comfortably in his own home.
A memorial celebration of Don’s life will be held at 11 a.m. on Wednesday at Maresh-Meredith Funeral Home. Relatives and friends may meet with the family on Wednesday from 9:30 a.m. until the time of the service at 11 a.m.
In lieu of flowers, donations in Don’s name may be made to the Racine Community Foundation-Lockwood Park Fund.