Donald Vreuls, of Fishersville, Virginia, passed away peacefully on August 3, 2022 in Waynesboro, age 88.
Born on a kitchen table on May 11, 1934, Donald grew up in Park Ridge, Illinois and upper Michigan with his twin sister Diane, of hard-working Dutch and Yugoslavian immigrant parents. Influenced by the Great Depression, he worked hard from age 10 setting bowling pins and managing a paper route until high school, and then joining the Air Force in 1953 where he was stationed at Itazuke Air Force Base in Fukuoka, Japan, as an Airman First Class airborne radio operator.
After his service he met and married his wife Peggy in 1959. He then graduated from the University of Illinois in 1961 and worked as the news director at WKID in Urbana, Illinois until he was hired by the Martin Company, where he worked on the Titan II Operational Field Test and Evaluation Program and participated in one of the proposals for the Apollo Lunar Command Module design. He furthered his education at Trinity University with a Master of Science degree. Later career achievements included designing system instrumentation on the L-1011 and working on the design of a new instrument landing system that would allow aircraft to land in zero visibility. Initially intended for the Concorde, it is now used by commercial aircraft worldwide.
In the 1980s he struck out on his own and formed Vreuls Research Corporation (later VRC Corporation), where he built a very successful business winning military contracts for ground and air equipment design and testing. He slowly phased into retirement over the better part of a decade and settled in the Shenandoah Valley.
Donald was an avid aviator; he owned small airplanes all his life since earning his Private Pilot License at age 16. He was a dedicated husband, father, grandfather, and great-grandfather.
Donald is preceded by his parents, Conrad Mathias Vreuls and Jane Baltic Vreuls, his wife, Margaret Elizabeth Schilling Vreuls, daughter-in-law, Jacqueline Annette Carton Vreuls, and brother-in-law, Stuart Friebert. He is survived by his children, Teri Genevieve Vreuls Maerki, David Vreuls and Jon Vreuls; grandchildren, Christopher Maerki and wife, Kristi, Maegan Abugideiri and husband, Yusuf, Katelyn Whittington and husband, Nathan, Colleen Maerki, Briana Vreuls, Erika Vreuls and Katharina Vreuls; great-grandchildren, Noah and Rian Abugideiri and Brynn Whittington; his sister, Diane Vreuls Friebert, niece, Sarah Friebert and nephew, Steven Friebert, wife, Naomi and son, Kazu; his sister-in-law, Carol Rafferty Dierkes, husband, Gil and her children,
The family wishes to express their sincerest gratitude to Dr. Andrew Romano, Sentara Martha Jefferson Hematology and Medical Oncology; Dr. Tracey Krupski, UVA Urologic Oncology; Glenda and Pam, Legacy Hospice; Dr. Jonathan Shenk, Steve Colvin, NP and the nursing staff at Summit Square for their loving attention and care for our dad.
Graveside Service will be held at 11:00 AM, Monday, August 8, 2022 in Augusta Memorial Park, 1775 Goose Creek Road, Waynesboro, VA 22980. Enter Augusta Memorial Park via left (east) entrance next to chime tower, and take the leftmost road all the way back to the tent.
A reception will be held after the service, at Eagle's Nest Airport, 249 Aero Drive, Waynesboro.
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