Schwandt, Donald EdwardDonald E. Schwandt, 83, a life-long resident of Appleton, Wisconsin, died peacefully on March 4, 2017 from the long-term effects of Parkinson's Disease. Don was born on August 8, 1933 to Minnie B. (Reetz) and Edward C. Schwandt and graduated from Appleton High School in 1951. From there he pursued a career as a structural draftsman, beginning at Orbison & Orbison of Appleton and later at Appleton Structural Steel. He spent 25 years at Green Bay Structural Steel, and finally retired from Valley Drafting in Darboy in 2000. Don's life-long passion was military history: its weapons, insignia, and accoutrements, specializing in pre-Colonial times to the present. He got bitten by the "collecting bug" early in his teenage years and relished his role as a caretaker of historical military memorabilia. As an extension of his love of history, Don was a member of numerous Civil War and other reenacting groups. Don always enjoyed passing on his love of history, whether at a reenactment, a school, or in the confines of his basement "museum." He was as meticulous in his hobby as he was in his work. In 1967 he met Gwendolyn Krahling on a blind date and five months later they were married on November 25. Together as a couple, their opposites complimented each other as they were active in church, community, and music groups. Don was deeply devoted to his family and loved teaching his children and grandchildren the finer points of doing things "the right way." Don could fix anything as long as it didn't interfere with naptime or happy hour. Don is survived by his wife, Gwen, of 49 years; his sons Robert (Mara), Suamico; John (Kristin), Norman, Oklahoma; Daniel (special friend Erin), South Bend, Indiana; grandchildren Greta, Emma, and Michael. He is also survived by a sister-in-law, Donna Krahling; niece Sandra (Galen) Fick; nephews Mark (Allison) Krahling; David (Char) Krahling; and numerous cousins, half-cousins, friends, and colleagues. He was preceded in death by his parents Ed and Minnie; by a half-brother, Wilbur Schwandt; half-sister Helen Gibson; and brother-in-law John Krahling. Don's funeral liturgy will be held at Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church, 912 N. Oneida St, Appleton, on Wednesday, March 8, 2017 at 11:00 a.m. with family friend, the Rev. John Gorder and Zion interim pastor the Rev. John Czarnota presiding. A visitation will be held at the church on Tuesday, March 7, 2017 from 5:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m. and again the following day at church from 9:00 a.m. until the time of liturgy. Inurnment will follow at a later date in the Zion Lutheran Cemetery of rural George, Iowa. A memorial fund is being established.Don's family wishes to thank the exemplary team of health care professionals who made his last years comfortable and happy, especially the Affinity Home Health Care team: Sara, Tara, Joy, Julie, Jenny; the team at Helen's House in Darboy: Tony, Kelli, Alicia, Jamee, Claudia, Nicole, and San Juana; and Affinity Visiting Nurses Hospice. Even at the grave we make our song: Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia.