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Dr. Donald Garelick

July 27, 1934 ~ August 2, 2019 (age 85)
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Dr. Donald Garelick, age 85, passed away on August 2, 2019 at Aster Memory Care in Cottage Grove, WI. Don is survived by Phyllis, his loving wife of 62 years, daughters Anita Garelick (Marc Milavitz), Boulder, CO, and Laura (Dave) Toso, Cottage Grove, WI, and son Jeffrey Garelick (Kim Damian), Denver, CO, and grandchildren Sam Toso, Denver, CO, Mitch (May Grace) Toso, Denver, CO, Max Toso, Madison, WI, Zach Milavitz, Boulder, CO, Jessica Milavitz, Oakland, CA, Jordan Garelick, Denver, CO, and Lauren Garelick, Denver, CO. Sister: Carol (Jack) Saidel, Houston, TX; two sisters-in-law: Naomi (Dennis) Bahcall, Appleton and Shelly (Ted Tapper) Phillips, Philadelphia, PA; and a brother-in-law Marc (Sheila) Cohen, Madison.

Don was born on July 27, 1934 in St. Paul, MN to the late Fannie and Saul Garelick. The family lived in Chicago for his first 12 years and then moved to Minneapolis. Don graduated from North High School in Minneapolis in 1952. He attended the University of Minnesota until his studies were interrupted by the Korean War when he joined the Navy. He served at the US Naval Hospital in Great Lakes, IL, as a corpsman/medic. Don returned to the University of Minnesota where he met Phyllis Cohen on a blind date. They were married on June 29, 1957 in Milwaukee.

Don attended the Illinois College of Optometry in Chicago and graduated in 1961. He started his optometric career in St. Paul, MN, and after a year, Don and Phyllis moved to Appleton, WI, where Don was in practice until his retirement in 1999. In 2016, they moved to Madison, WI to be closer to daughter Laura. For the past year, he received compassionate care at Aster Memory Care in Cottage Grove.

Don loved his family and friends dearly and was a devoted husband, father and grandfather. He had a zest for life and loved biking, downhill skiing, water skiing, hiking, working out at the Y, and most of all, tennis. He greatly enjoyed listening to music, especially jazz, and reading and talking about history. He had a passion for working with tools and fixing things. Also, he volunteered for many years on the Jewish Cemetery Committee and with Habitat for Humanity.

Don was loved and appreciated by his family, friends and patients. He will always be remembered for his great dimples.

Visitation for friends and family will be at 10 am and the funeral service will be at 11 am on Wednesday, August 7 at Brettschneider Trettin-Nickel Funeral Chapel, 606 North Oneida St, Appleton. Following the service, burial will take place at the Moses Montefiore Cemetery. 

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Moses Montefiore Cemetery, 4306 N Marshall Ave, Appleton, WI 54913 or Agrace Hospice & Palliative Care, 5395 E Cheryl Pkwy, Madison, WI 53711 or

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