Donald E. Wanser, 89, of Otisville, NY, passed away peacefully at home on Sunday, June 30, 2019.
He was born in Pilgrims Corners, Town of Wallkill, NY, on April 2, 1930, to the late William E. and Marie Zimmer Wanser. Donald graduated from Otisville High School in 1948 and went directly to work at Dayton Dental Laboratory in Middletown, where he had worked during high school. He learned quickly and opened his own successful dental laboratory, Dental Designs by Don, in the mid-1960’s. Outside of a stint working at a soda shop during his teens, Don worked in the same profession until his retirement in June 1995.
Don lived his entire life in the Village of Otisville where he met and married the love of his life, Irma E. Craig Brasted. Irma predeceased him in 2000. During their early years as a couple Don and Irma delighted in touring the countryside in their vintage MG. Donald built their first home and eventually remodeled Irma’s family home, where they lived the rest of their lives. After retirement, Don enjoyed traveling, photography, woodworking, spending time with Diane, volunteering at the Mount Hope Historical Society, caring for the family home and lands, and relaxing at Yankee Lake and the Basha Kill.
Don was active in the local community and generous in contributing his time and talents. He was instrumental in the founding of the Otisville Country Fair and the Otisville Veterans Park. He belonged to the Otisville Lions Club, Otisville Grange, and served as Mayor of the Village of Otisville from September 1999 to March 2001. Prior to that he served as Village Trustee and Deputy Mayor. In recent years Donald was very active in the restoration of the Research Center and other projects for the Mount Hope Historical Society.
For many years, Don and his family enjoyed annual camping outings in Canada and Yankee Lake. He and Irma shared travel adventures to Norway, Sweden, Africa, Hawaii and cross county trips throughout the west and Alaska. Photographs from their African safari and rafting in the Grand Canyon line a hallway in his home.
In addition to his parents and wife, Irma, Donald was predeceased by all eight of his siblings including three sisters, Marie E. Potter, Vera A. Farrington, Muriel D. Stout and five brothers including Warren A. Wanser, Paul E. Wanser, William I. Wanser, Gordon K. Wanser, and infant brother, Barry H. Wanser.
Don was a cherished member of an extended family, including his daughter, Diane L. Brasted Wanser of Otisville, sisters-in-law Ellen Lang Wanser, Eleanor Smith Wanser, Gladys Craig Loeven and Claire Brasted Craig, and many nieces and nephews. His niece Colleen Loeven Filippone assisted Diane with his care at the end.
Don was a man of few words but his actions spoke volumes. His steady presence was always there to lend a hand, fix anything that needed it, and share his many talents with others. Don was a loving father to Diane. He led by example, taught and mentored her and others in his quiet and skillful way. He also let you know when he did not approve-quietly as well. He is and will always be deeply missed.
Visitation will be held for family and friends from 5 – 8 PM on Friday July 5, 2019 at Cornelius, Dodd and Connell Funeral Home, 26 Grove Street, Middletown, NY. A celebration of life service will be held at Cornelius, Dodd and Connell on Saturday July 6th at 10 AM. Reverend Jeffrey Farley will officiate. Interment will follow in the Mt. Hope Plains Cemetery in Otisville, NY.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Mount Hope Historical Society, P.O. Box 574, Otisville, NY 10963
Arrangements have been entrusted to Cornelius, Dodd & Connell Funeral Home, Middletown, NY.