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Veree & Tom Woodbridge

How we enjoyed getting to know Don through his and Kate’s connection with New Vision Congregational Church.Don’s Sunday morning greeting near the coffee pot was always welcome! Although not the outgoing social person, his quiet harmonious tone and demeanor were just as hospitable. We shall miss his quiet reception.

Rebecca Berg

What a sweet, sweet man! While volunteering at Nassau County Council on Aging, I was fortunate to work with him and meet lovely Kate. I will miss seeing him.

Donald Gordon Wiest


Donald Gordon Wiest of Fernandina Beach passed away on March 2024 at Fernandina’s Community Hospice & Palliative Care. After a life filled with strong relationships, many hobbies and intellectual interests, dementia eventually took him away. He was 91.

Born in Milwaukee, WI during the Great Depression, Don was raised in Menomonee Falls, WI. He was pre-deceased by: his father, Donald Reinhardt Wiest; his mother, Margaret Hoppe Wiest and his younger brother Douglas. After high school Don attended the University of Wisconsin where he majored in chemical engineering and earned an NROTC scholarship. He had a love for music and played clarinet and saxophone in one of the university bands. While a UW Badger he met Kathleen June King and married her in December of 1955 following graduation. Don was commissioned as an officer in the U.S. Navy, notably serving as the navigator on USS Olmsted (APA-188) and USS Roanoke (CL-145. His four years in the Navy produced some of Don’s fondest memories.

After completing Naval service in 1959, Don and Kate moved from Norfolk, VA to Rochester, NY where Don landed a new job as a chemical engineer with Eastman Kodak. He eventually moved into marketing for business products in Kodak’s Main office. In 1984 he was awarded an expatriate assignment to Kodak’s office in Tokyo Japan. He and Kate spent 5 wonderful years there, filled with international travel, cultural explorations and a vibrant social life.

After retiring from Kodak in late 1991 back in Rochester, Don took up painting and became an accomplished water-color artist. Don and Kate moved to Amelia Island, Fl. in 1997. They developed many active friendships, continued to enjoy foreign and domestic travel and pursued lifelong learning that built a rich life.

Don was a quiet, sweet and thoughtful man. One of his favorite sayings was: “It’s all part of the rich tapestry of life.” He leaves behind his wife Kate and children Tim (Priscilla), Eric (Christine), Burke (Shameera) and Gretchen (John), along with 9 grandchildren and 6 great grandchildren (with 2 more on the way), all of whom will remember him fondly.

A Celebration of Life will be held on May 10 at 2:00 at New Vision Congregational UCC Church, 96072 Chester Rd., Yulee, Fl.32097. Donations may be made in Don’s memory to the church.


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