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Donald Eugene Schatzman, 81, passed away unexpectedly during heart surgery on Wednesday at Ascension All Saints Hospital. He was born in Racine on July 15, 1936, and was the son of the late Delbert and Thelma (Nee: Gilbertson) Schatzman.
Don graduated from Washington Park High School with the “Class of 1955.” On May 25, 1957 at Immanuel Episcopal Church he was united in marriage to Nancy J. Buhler. He served in the U.S. Army Reserves from 1957 – 1987. During this time he was employed by various Racine manufacturing companies, the last including Jacobsen Mfg. and J.I. Case Co. Following a layoff from J.I. Case, Don went into full time, active duty in the U.S. Army. He served our country in the Gulf War in 1991 and retired from the Army in 1996.
Don was always one to keep busy, lending a helping hand whenever someone needed assistance. He was an avid tinkerer and loved taking things apart and putting them back together, especially if it helped someone else. He was also an active and dedicated volunteer. From 1969 to 1974 he volunteered as a chaperone, bus driver, and board member for the Kiltie Kadets and Kilties Drum and Bugle Corps. In recent years, Don volunteered his time at Racine Vocational Ministry, the Hospitality Center and as a member of St. Michael’s Episcopal Church where he served on the building and grounds committee, cooked meals for events earning him the title of “meat loaf man,” and did building maintenance and repairs. He loved to play cards with his family and enjoyed time spent with the Schafkopf Card Club. He especially liked dancing with his wife, teaching card games to his children and grandchildren, telling jokes, and helping children with their math. Above all he was a devoted and faithful husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather who would do anything to help his family. He will be dearly missed!
Surviving are his loving wife of 60 years, Nancy; children, James (JaneMarie) Schatzman, Phyllis Scholz, Susan (Mark) Caskey; grandchildren, Stephen Schatzman (Michele), Luke Schatzman (Shauna), Gabriel Schatzman (Tyra), Christopher (Jessica) Schatzman, Michelle Scholz (Saterial), Rachael (Alex) Nutting, Andrew Caskey (Catie), Kyle (Anastasia) Caskey; great grandchildren, Tai Heether, Kamaria Prude, Jermaine “Dolffy” Prude, Samuel Schatzman, Henry Nutting, Alexander Schatzman; siblings, James (Carolyn) Schatzman, Lois (Jerry) Herman, Gene (Suzanne) Schatzman, Johann “John” (Darlene) Schatzman, Bruce (Trudy) Schatzman, Roger (Jeanette) Schatzman, his dear maternal aunt Janice Boggs and his beloved sister-in-law, Phyllis Arvai; nieces, nephews, other relatives and dear friends. In addition to his parents he was preceded in death by his brother, Delbert (Kitty), and brothers-in-law, Stephen Arvai and Edward Buhler.
Funeral services will be held on Wednesday at 11 a.m. at St. Michael’s Episcopal Church, with Reverend Dustin Fecht officiating. Relatives and friends may meet with the family on Tuesday at the funeral home from 5-7 p.m. and on Wednesday at the church from 10 a.m. until 10:45 a.m. The service will begin at 11 a.m. Interment with full military honors will be held Thursday at 10 a.m. at Southern Wisconsin Veterans Memorial Cemetery, Dover. Memorials to the Racine Vocational Ministry or the Hospitality Center have been suggested.