Donald R. Gavers, 79, Woodstock, died Wednesday, Sept. 2, 2015, at the University of Wisconsin Medical Center, Madison, Wis. He courageously battled against cancer.
He was born March 22, 1936, to Otto and Ann (DeVogelaere) Gavers in Chicago.
On Oct. 21, 1961, he married Sally Schumacher, and they settled in Woodstock, raised their family and became what many call “Woodstock Icons.”
He served with the 82nd Airborne Division and was stationed in Ft. Bragg, N.C. He was a lifetime member of the Woodstock Moose Lodge 1329.
As president and founder of Gavers Asphalt, Paving, & Excavation Company, established in 1969, he attributed his success to several simple but effective practices: Be Cautious, Be Conservative and Lots of Teamwork. While the basis of the business operates in a 25-mile radius, his touch reached far and wide. He mentored employees who were with the company for decades, he never turned away from a challenging job, and he always had a tale to share. Even throughout his illness he was out working with the crews. His work ethics were never compromised, and he lived to “Make hay while the sun was shining.”
The only time he wasn’t working was when he was relaxing at his second home in Florida during the winter.
His hobbies included a great love of tractors, right down to his riding John Deere mower. Equipment auctions and estate sales were among his favorite pastimes. Most Sunday mornings found him “holding a meeting” at a local coffee shop with his cronies and lifelong business partner and best friend, Billy Hansen.
Survivors include his wife; two sons, Steve “Hozy” (Diane) Gavers, Woodstock, and Dan “Digger” Gavers, Lake Geneva, Wis.; a step-granddaughter, Ashley Ackerman; seven siblings, Bob “Louie” (Lucille) Gavers, Jim “Red” (Margaret) Gavers, Jeff (Judy) Gavers, Eugene Gavers, David Gavers, Genevieve (Joe) O’Herron and Terry (Ellen) Gavers; and many nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents; two brothers, Bill Gavers and Joe Gavers; and two nieces.
A gathering of friends and relatives will be held from 4 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 9, at Schneider-Leucht-Merwin & Cooney Funeral Home, 1211 N. Seminary Ave., Woodstock. The funeral will be at 11 a.m. Thursday, Sept. 10, at the funeral home. Interment will be private.
Memorials can be made to the Gavers Community Cancer Foundation, P.O. Box 1724, Woodstock, IL 60098.