Donald Gutschow, age 68, of Elwood, died peacefully on the Friday morning, June 14, 2013 at the Grand Island Veterans Hospital. Graveside memorial services will be at 2:00 P.M. Wednesday, June 19, 2013, at Ft. McPherson National Cemetery at Maxwell, NE. The Rev. Frank H. Fitch III will officiate. Mr. Gutschow’s body was cremated. Apfel Funeral Home of Grand Island is serving the family.
Don was born on January 11, 1945 to Leslie and Ruby (Stoltow) Gutschow. His Step-father, Cliffton Rutledge played a special role raising him and his sisters throughout their childhood. He attended Lexington Public Schools.
He entered the Navy in 1962 and served during the Vietnam War. He traveled the world during his service, and was stationed in places such as Japan, Hawaii, Philippines and Vietnam. He retired as a Chief Petty Officer in Subic Bay in 1982. He then served 10 more years as a civilian working as a supervisor for the Navy.
He was united in marriage to FeNilda Anez on August 2, 1980 in the Philippines where they met. They resided in the Philippines for 4 years after they wed. After which, the couple moved to the states and lived in Florida and Virginia. They then made a permanent home in Elwood, where he became employed by Orthman Manufacturing out of Lexington. He retired from Orthmans in 2005.
Don was a hardworking man, and a loving and caring father and friend. As a father, he showed his children unconditional love, and took care of them in any way possible. As a friend, he was always there to lend a helping hand to anyone that needed it with no questions asked. He had the biggest heart that anyone could ever have. He loved collecting old coins, fishing, and playing poker. He was always known to be a jokester, and would tell stories to make people laugh and smile.
He proceeded in death by his loving mother Ruby Rutledge; Step-father ,Clifton Rutledge; Beloved Sisters; Donna Smock, Janette Andre, Janice Strickland; Brother, Clayton Gutschow; Brother-in-laws, Kenny Moritz, Burnell Story, and Ed Hanson; Nephew, Jay Story.
He leaves to cherish his memory, Spouse FeNilda Gutschow; Two sons, John (Bethany) and Leslie Gutschow; Daughter, Ruby Gutschow; Grandson, Jaxon Gutschow; and Two sisters, Verna Moritz and Virginia Hanson; Brother-in-law, Ervin Smock; Step-sisters, Beverly Wempen, Ruby Schwartz and many other loving nieces, nephews, relatives and friends.