menu

Celebrating the life of

Donald Edward Schaet

August 18, 1934 - March 09, 2022

Donald Edward Schaet

Donald Edward Schaet of Savannah, Georgia passed away on March 9, 2022 at the age of 87. His long life was brought short due to complications related to Alzheimer’s. Don died peacefully with his beloved wife, Gail, and youngest daughter, Claire, by his side.

Don was born in Teaneck, NJ on August 18, 1934, to Edward and Mary Robertson Schaet. Soon thereafter, the family moved to Tenafly, NJ where Don spent the remainder of his formative years. Graduating from high school, Don attended the University of Rochester on a Navy ROTC Scholarship. Upon graduation he married his high school sweetheart, Lois Henke, and he was commissioned as an officer in the United States Marine Corp. Don served 25 years, retiring as a Colonel. He received the Bronze Star with Combat V, the Meritorious Service Medal and numerous other medals and citations.

Don’s life was characterized by service – to his family, his community, and his country. Upon retirement from the Marine Corps in 1980, Don joined the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Foundation as Executive Vice President. His efforts were instrumental in the creation of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. Don then returned to his Alma Mater and served as Associate Director of Development for the Office of Alumni Relations. In 1985, Don was selected by Mothers Against Drunk Driving to serve as their Executive Director where he helped deliver assistance for victims of drunk driving and advocated for more stringent laws. Don then joined the staff of the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund where he assisted in the design, site selection and fundraising to create the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial.

Don took a year off to travel around the world. Along the way, he met Gail Teplin, a fellow traveler. They were married in December of 1987 and eventually settled in Atlanta, GA, Don joined Cure, an organization committed to funding research and patient support for childhood cancer. Finally, Don became a volunteer mentor and coach for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society through their Team in Training program. He participated in over 40 100-mile bicycle events to raise funds for research and patient support.

Don was also a life-long athlete. He captained his high school and collegiate soccer teams. He continued to play soccer into his late 40s and relished playing in the annual UofR Alumni Homecoming Soccer match. As an adult, Don excelled as an endurance athlete. He ran many marathons, including a 50-mile ultra-marathon. As a cyclist, Don was extremely proud of having ridden a century ride in all 50 states.

Don was devoted man of faith. A converted Lutheran, he served as an assistant pastor, Sunday school teacher, study group leader and tireless maker of coffee and baker of cookies for fellowship hour. Dad made certain that the family was lined up in our pew each and every Sunday. He confessed in his waning years that he couldn’t remember anyone’s name, yet he regularly attended Messiah Lutheran’s Men’s Group and Sunday worship.

Don is survived by his wife, Gail Teplin; brother Robert Schaet; children William Edward Schaet, Constance Jean Reed, Jennifer Ann Simpson, and Claire Maria Schaet; grandchildren Catie LeCompte, Colin Reed, Ginny Northrup, Lyndsey Buckle, Amy Schaet, Sarah Parker, Christopher Simpson, Jeremy Simpson, Anna Simpson, and Conner Sivkov; great-grandchildren Bradyn Buckle, Everrett Buckle, Ben LeCompte, Max LeCompte, Hugh Reed, and Cooper Northrup.

A funeral is planned for Saturday, March 19, 2020 at 1 PM. The service will be held at Messiah Lutheran Church on 1 W. Ridge Rd., Savannah, GA 31411. All are invited to attend. Don will be interred with military honors in the National Cemetery in Salisbury, NC.

People wishing to honor Don’s life-long service to family, community and country can make donations to:

Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, https://givenow.lls.org/give/394054/#!/donation/checkout, PO Box 22324, New York, NY 10087

Or Alzheimer’s Association, https://www.alz.org/?form=alz_donate , 225 N. Michigan Ave., Fl. 17, Chicago, IL 60601.

SHARE YOUR CONDOLENCES

Image
GUEST BOOK

He lived a long and eventful life. May he rest in peace. Sorry for your loss.

- Cathie Schaet, Katy, Texas

So sorry for the loss of your Husband, Father and Grand/Great Grandfather My privilege was knowing Don as a member of The Lutheran church of the Resurrection in Marietta. Having spent 4 years in the USMC we bonded as I would refer to him at times as Colonel and he would say, hey sarge. I was always in awe of the way he cared for others and his passion who helping others through cycling. On a car ride for 1 1/2 Don told me the story of how he met Gail. It was amazing and how he loved her. I have missed Don and reached out but no response. Now I know why......Don was a role model to me and ONE OF A KIND. I am confident Jesus welcomed Don with the words.WELL DONE GOOD AND FAITHFUL SERVANT..Blessings to your family. You are in my prayers Dan Gilroy

- Dan Gilroy, Marietta, GA

I am so sorry to hear about Don's passing. Special condolences to Gail and Claire, who he spoke of so often during our Men's Group at the Lutheran Church of the Resurrection in Marietta. I always chuckled when I saw his email address of "jarhead" and always wondered where he got that name from. Don was a Sunday School teacher for my two boys growing up and they loved Don fondly. Our men at church would love to hear Don speak of his passion for community causes in his life, his enjoyment of cycling, and his devotion to his family. What a special guy...we all reflected how he filled up that "dash" between birth and death, much more than any of us could ever do. Who else has ever had an obituary a page long like Don's? I know he's chuckling right now! Don will be missed by many but certainly not forgotten. Rest in peace my dear friend.

- Kirk Gadebusch, Marietta, Cobb

I am so very saddened to hear of the loss of the Colonel. He touched the heart of many and impacted an endless amount of people. You are in my prayers Gail. God bless

- TNT family , Roswell , Georgia

Gail, I am so sorry for the loss of your husband and such an amazing man and servant to our county. The world sure lost a good one. My thoughts and prayers are with you during this tough time. I have many fond memories of Don when we would do century rides together.

- The Grine family , Atlanta , GA

Donald was an outstanding man and I am proud to have met him and been able to call him a friend. I have nothing but great memories of him. I am very saddened to hear about his passing. When I moved to Atlanta he was my first mentor with team and training and I truly cherished every ride and learning experience. He was so filled with an endless amount of skills and he always had wonderful stories to share as we rode. Praying that you and your family find some peace.

- Pete Dunning, Tampa , Florida

Donald really impacted our lives on many different occasions. He was always so involved with our church in East Cobb. A wonderful man who had nothing but an infectious smile & positivity to spread. He will be missed! Rest easy Colonel

- Davenports, Peachtree City , GA

I had the pleasure to serve in the Corps with Don. I am very saddened by his passing. He was a true leader and very dedicated to his family and our country. Prayers are with you at this time.

- Chuck Smith, Arlington , VA

I’m so sorry to hear of Don’s passing. Among many of his great accomplishments, he was instrumental in shepherding me around my first TNT century, Tucson in 1999. It was sad to see his memory leave him in his later years. His soul is now at peace.

- Ellin Family , Atlanta , GA

He was a living legend. I will forever be grateful to have known him.

- Eastman Family , Marietta, GA

Don was such a wonderful man, husband, father, patriot and friend. He will be missed by many. I have so many fond memories of him. Heaven got a good one

- Schneider family , Atlanta , GA

I am so sorry to read about Don’s passing. He was and inspiration to me as a cyclist. I remember when TNT did Cycle Fest in Florida 2004 I believe, Don rode 200 miles the day when we all did the century ride.

- Shelly beaker , Atlanta , GA

So sad to hear this news. Don was an amazing man. Never met a challenge he didn’t want to conquer.

- Leighton family , Atlanta , GA

Sorry to hear of Don’s passing. He was a great man. I did the 2006 Lake Tahoe ride that Don coached. My sincere condolences to his family and friends.

- Alicia Jameson , Marietta , GA

I loved Don’s stories, especially when we’d miss a turn on the bike rides and get lost. God speed my friend! Prayers to his wife and children

- Pruitt family , Marietta , GA

A candle has been lit!

I am so sorry to hear of Dons passing and while I was not aware he had dementia, I am happy he is not suffering anymore. I meet him many years ago on a TNT Tahoe century event. It was a pleasure to have known him and completed this event under his leadership. Godspeed.

- Letty Family , Newnan, GA

A candle has been lit!

Tough as nails, and the kindest of hearts. He was such an inspiration to me.

- Sarah Faas, Atlanta , GA

A candle has been lit!

In loving memory of the best father & grandfather that someone could ever ask for.❤️

- Claire Schaet, Marietta , GA

A candle has been lit!

I remember him fondly. A great encourager as I built confidence on the bike. After our Silk Sheets rides, he would do sit-ups as I crawled to my car. His soul will live on! A truly kind man.

- Teresa Wallace, Atlanta , GA

A candle has been lit!

So many of my great TNT memories are with Don. A life exceedingly well lived. ❤️❤️❤️

- Kathy Empen, Atlanta , GA

A candle has been lit!

Such sad news but I am glad that he is no longer suffering. What a wonderful human being. Stranger to no one and friend to all !

- Mary Gage, Atlanta , GA

What an incredible man to have influenced the lives of SO many. Don always had a kind and encouraging word, with a warm smile for all! He’s certainly left a beautiful legacy!

- Anne Jackson , Marietta , GA

A candle has been lit!

I'm so sorry to hear this. Don was such a great man. He helped me so much when I first joined TNT and I had NO idea what I was doing.He bought me my first tire repair kit with Co2 cartridges which I thought was so fancy!! I still have it! He also gave me great fundraising tips. I have great memories of him while riding. He will be missed. Godspeed Don.

- Cici Fernandes, Atlanta , GA

A candle has been lit!

One particular memory I have with Don was in Cartersville Georgia on a training ride we took a 40 mile ride that turned into a 72 mile ride by accident and got lost, had to be rescued, story telling about the Marine's adventures… Blessings Don!!

- Maggie Monsalve, Atlanta , GA

Don Schaet was my first mentor with TNT mentor in 2004. I loved hearing all his stories, even though his story-telling almost always caused us to miss a turn & log a few “bonus miles”. He’s an incredible person & I’m honored to have gotten to know him over the years. He was the best storyteller, I was always amazed by his Vietnam War experience. Prayers to Gail & family!

- Redman family , Duluth , GA

A candle has been lit!

Don saved me from a rogue dog once. Sending prayers to his family during this tough time. Semper Fidelis!

- Rooth Stanford, Atlanta, GA

I remember training with Don on my first TNT century. I have a great picture of dancing with him at the celebration dinner. He was such a nice man!

- Diane Nissen, Atlanta, GA

A candle has been lit!

This is sad, one of our own. Very sorry to hear about Don's passing. He was an inspiration in the way he lived. May he Rest In Peace

- Joe DeLany, Atlanta , GA

A candle has been lit!

My condolences. Don was a true inspiration to all. Rest easy my friend!

- Brown Family , Woodstock , GA

A candle has been lit!

Don was a true inspiration!

- Rothfeld Family , Plantation , Florida

A candle has been lit!

My beloved friend Don is no longer suffering from dementia anymore and I am thankful for that but will miss him dearly. His family and friends are many as he was very outgoing and helpful to anyone that needed his expertise. I pray that his wife and family will find some peace. I know he smiling down on us in heaven with his mother and father and at peace again.

- Erwin Family , Atlanta , GA

So sorry to hear of Don’s passing. I had the honor of working under him in the Marine Corps. It’s in moments like these that words fall short, but Gail I hope you know how much love I have in my heart for Don, he was a true leader and servant to our country. You’re in my thoughts. God bless!

- Luke Intile , Alpharetta , GA

Always had the pleasure of hearing Claire tell some pretty amazing stories about Don. My condolences to you and your family. May his legacy live on!

- Heller Family , Canton , GA

Mr.Schaet was so sweet to me the few times I would go over to hangout with Claire. He would cook us breakfast and make me feel at home like I was apart of the family. I still remember his kind gestures to this day, they really stood out to me!

- Kendra Showalter, Los Angeles, California

My thoughts are with you and your family during this troubling time. Mr. Don was nothing short of amazing and he will be remembered forever.

- Barlev Family, Woodstock , GA

My heart goes out to Mrs. Gail & her family. I know how much Don loved you guys. I lived under Claire at her apartment in Kennesaw and I remember each time he would come and visit her. He was such a family man and would always have a huge smile on his face. I know he is still with us in spirit.

- Bishop Family , Kennesaw , GA

Don helped me out through some really challenging times in my life and gave me a helping hand when he didn’t need to. He is the pure definition of an admirable man with the biggest of hearts.

- Nick Freeman , Roswell , GA

A candle has been lit!

Don you will be missed. Thanks for always being your true self. You were so genuine and down to earth. The world needs more people like you! My prayers are with your family!

- Ortiz Family , Powder Springs , GA

A candle has been lit!

Seeing Don’s passing made me deeply saddened. All I can say is Don sure was one hell of a man! Rest In Peace my friend

- Potts Family , Dunwoody , GA

A candle has been lit!

Gail I am so sorry to hear of the passing of your lovely husband. It is so amazing to see the amount of peoples lives that he impacted. What a blessing! He loved you very dearly. May you find some peace.

- Wright Family, Peachtree City , GA

A candle has been lit!

- Debbie Coolidge, Savannah , Georgia

Gail, I hope you are holding up okay. My thoughts are with you during this time. Don was an amazing person and I am happy he isn’t suffering anymore! Thinking of you and yours. Rest easy Don

- Greg Maddox , Atlanta , GA

A candle has been lit!

May Don Rest In heavenly peace. What a life well lived and god bless such an absolutely amazing person !

- Taylor Family , Marietta , GA

A candle has been lit!

I have so many fond memories with Don! I am devastated that he is no longer with us, but glad he is no longer suffering with dementia. Semper Fi

- Ross family , Atlanta , GA

A candle has been lit!

Don will be missed very much. Such an inspiration. Prayers to Gail & family!

- Miller Family , Hiram , GA

A candle has been lit!

Don was a powerful leader and always gave a helping hand to anyone that crossed his path. He will not be forgotten. My thoughts and prayers are with his wife and kids !

- Karen Vega, San Diego , CA

Services under the direction of:

Fox & Weeks Funeral Directors, Hodgson Chapel
912-352-7200