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Donald Walter Kautzky



DES MOINES – DONALD WALTER KAUTZKY – AGE 91 of Des Moines, Iowa passed away peacefully on November 13, 2022.


Donald was born on May 16, 1931 in Perry, Iowa to Edward and Bernice Kautzky. He attended Iowa School for the Deaf in Council Bluffs, Iowa and graduated in 1951. After graduation he fell in love with Marlene (Burger) Kautzky and they married February 27, 1960. They had 3 daughters and 1 son.


Donald was a farmer in Perry and Waverly. They sold their farms and moved to Cedar Falls in 1968 where he was then employed by Wendall Lockard Construction as a finish carpenter and retired from there in 1993. He also ran businesses in upholstery and cabinet making where he worked with his wife, and they employed many Deaf people. Don had a love and talent for wood working and he and Marlene would work on crafts and projects together making signature items which many people enjoy today.


He was proud of being Deaf and provided leadership to the Iowa Association for the Deaf, as Treasurer (10 years), and the Cedarloo Association for the Deaf. He and his wife were honored by being inducted into the Iowa School for the Deaf Hall of Fame’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 2008.


His number one love was his family. He enjoyed attending sporting events of his children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren. In recent years he found great solitude relaxing on the dock at Lake Viking with his family and watching the kids play around him. He had a sweet and funny sense of humor. His gentle presence had a profound effect on everyone who knew him. He led his life according to strong family values and devout spirituality. He was a member of St Catherine’s of Siena Catholic Church in Des Moines. He was also an Iowa Hawkeye, Chicago Bears and New York Yankees fan.


He is survived by his wife, Marlene, his three daughters, Diana Kautzky of Clive, IA, Debbie (Nick) Ditolla of West Des Moines, IA, and Dawn (Chris) Wolfgram of Kansas City, MO; five grandchildren, Bo (Mary), Chelsea (Lonnie), Daniel (Amanda), Peyton (AJ), and Quinn; six great-grandchildren, Dax, Dean, Parker, Day, Noah, Alayna.


In death, Don is reunited with his son, Dale Edward, and his parents Edward and Bernice, his siblings, Edward, Francis, and Louise.


A visitation will be held on Friday, November 18 at Merle Hay Funeral Home from 4:00-6:00pm. Funeral service will be held on Saturday, November 19 at St. Catherine of Siena at 10:00am with a luncheon reception to follow at the church. Donald will be laid to rest at Chapel Hill Gardens at Merle Hay Funeral Home.


Memorials may be directed in the name of Donald Kautzky to WesleyLife Hospice or the Iowa Association for the Deaf in Council Bluffs, IA.