My heart is broken with the passing of my sweet son, Donnie.
Donald Joseph Wittler, Jr. (AKA Donnie, Uncle Donnie, DW, Big D, D Dub, Donaldo, Blacksheep, Great Dane) passed away Wednesday, September 12, 2018 at the age of 46.
He was born in Elmhurst, Illinois and grew up in Roaring Springs and Alvarado, Texas and Lexington, Kentucky. He will be remembered fondly by many family and friends in all three states.
Donnie graduated from Alvarado HS in 1990. He moved to Lexington soon after graduation and worked as a carpenter, developing a niche in historic renovation. In 1998 he suffered a spinal cord injury that left him a quadriplegic. After the accident, he went back to school to earn an architecture technology degree at BCTC and transferred his building skills to architectural drawing and design.
Donnie was always creating. He would design all kinds of gadgets to make his world more accessible. Donnie was passionate about improving accessibility in Lexington. He worked with the city government and was successful in significantly increasing the fine for illegally parking in a handicap space. Donnie was also passionate about sports. He played high school football in Texas and loved his Cowboys.
When Donnie moved to Kentucky, he embraced Lexington and its culture as his own. He bled Blue and rarely missed watching a UK football or basketball game. He loved the track and will be missed dearly at the Keeneland Spring and Fall meets. Donnie enjoyed bourbon and channeled his love for bourbon and design into creating beautiful pieces of bourbon barrel art.
Donnie will be loved forever and missed by those of us left behind: His parents and step parents Donald Joseph Wittler (Lou) and Laverne Zabielski (Larry Vogt). His sisters, Danielle Wittler and Dana Logsdon (Gary), his brothers, DJ Saltigerald (Alyssa) and Johnny Saltigerald, nephews, Avery and Chuck Logsdon and step siblings, Sunshine, Rainbow, Nightsnow, Sky, Gretchen, Susanna, Timmy and Tommy. His aunts and uncles loved him like he was their son and he was like a brother to his cousins.
Donnie had many great caretakers and aides over the years. The family recognizes their contributions to Donnie’s independence and know that he will be missed by them. A special shout out to Joanna Lile, and Samantha Thornton and her family.
Donnie forged many special bonds. We want to acknowledge the Rives family, Pat Logsdon, Jake, the O’Daniels, folks at Hanover Tower, Donnie's fantasy football teammates, high school buddies, the Bourbon n’ Toulouse crew. Countless other friends and relatives helped Donnie live a full and exciting life after his life-changing accident.
Please continue sharing your beautiful stories during the reception. If we don’t get a chance to speak this evening, be sure to sign the guest book or call any time.