Obit: Aumann, Donald J (1959 - 2007)
Contact: Shari Hahn
Surnames: Aumann, Bradford, Schiller
Marshfield News-Herald, April 6, 2007
Aumann, Donald J (17 June 1959 - 9 March 2007)
Donald J. Aumann
DAVIS, Calif. -- Donald J. Aumann, 47, of Davis, Calif., died March 9, 2007, at Kaiser Hospital in Sacramento within days of a diagnosis of autoimmune hemolytic anemia.
Don was born June 17, 1959, in Milwaukee and grew up on a farm near Loyal. Always a keen student, he attended Catholic grammar schools in Brookfield and Loyal. At Loyal High School he participated in FFA, track and field and marching band and served as senior class president, graduating fifth in his class in 1977. He was a representative at Badger Boys State in 1976.
He earned a B.S. degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1982, graduating with high honors. He then moved to California where he became well known and much in demand for his knowledge and expertise in the area of energy conservation. He held positions with PG&E, the Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory and the California Energy Commission as well as with two private firms. At one of the latter, he worked closely during several years with the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI). In 2004, he was recruited as director of programs for the California Lighting Technology Center at the University of California-Davis, where he has had a major role in linking research-generated advances in lighting technology with public utilities. He was valued by his employers and colleagues not only for his breadth of expertise and experience and his exceptional capacity for achievement, but also for his excellent judgment, his high standards and his effectiveness in creating a team from a group of individuals with diverse backgrounds and interests.
A person of remarkable energy, Don was an avid cyclist, hiker and back-country skier. In 1986, he completed a solo bicycle ride from Seattle to New York. He completed the Davis Double Century bike ride at the age of 25 and again at 45. During the years, he participated in a number of major mountain bike rides in California and rode in other western states. He greatly enjoyed extended back-country ski trips in the Sierras and skied in other western states and the European Alps. At a recent family reunion in Yosemite National Park, he hiked to the top of Yosemite Falls and was back in time for an 8:30 breakfast.
In 1989, Don married Margaret Bradford of Davis, and they have two children, Peter, 14, and Emily, 11. Don was a devoted husband and father and shared his passion for the outdoors with his family. From the time the children were infants, the four of them took bike rides together, and more recently, they took longer trips on their two tandems. They also enjoyed cross-country ski and snow camping trips and summer hikes together. In 2006, they drove, with the two tandems atop the car, to family reunions in Door County and Marshfield, where the tandems were much enjoyed by several members of the extended families.
Don and Margaret lived in the Bay area until 2001, where they were active members of the Newman Center/Holy Spirit Parish in Berkeley, with both singing in the choir and involved in other activities. Since moving to Davis, they have maintained close contact with many Bay area friends. In Davis, the whole family has become involved in Davis Community Church's music, worship and youth programs.
Don was a skilled amateur photographer, and their home is graced with beautiful photos of some of his favorite mountain scenes. He was also a folk music enthusiast, with an extensive collection of music recordings and a lifetime membership at the Freight and Salvage Coffeehouse in Berkeley. Friends enjoyed Don's music compilation CDs at Christmas. He was a role model for how to maintain many meaningful friendships and treasured any chance to share experiences with friends.
In addition to his wife and children, Don is survived by and will be sadly missed by his parents, Irban and Leona Aumann of Marshfield; brothers, Joe and his wife, Kris, and their children, Ryan and Sarah, of Loyal, and John and wife Cathy of Granton (a third brother, Michael, died in a farm accident in 1977); sister Shelby and her children, Derek and Maryssa and her husband, Dean Schiller, of Ripon; and many, many friends.
Funeral arrangements were under the direction of the Davis Funeral Chapel. A memorial service was held at Davis Community Church at 11 a.m. Wednesday, March 14, with a reception that followed in the church's fellowship hall.
In Wisconsin, funeral arrangements are being made by Cuddie Funeral Home in Loyal. A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. Thursday, April 12, at St. Anthony's Catholic Church in Loyal. The Rev. Kaiser and the Rev. Chester Osowski will officiate. Don's ashes will be buried in the St. Anthony Catholic Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, it is suggested that those wishing to remember Don with a gift send a contribution to St. Anthony's Catholic Church, Freight and Salvage Coffee House (www.freightandsalvage.org), Snowlands Network (www.snowlands.org), or to your favorite charity. Donating blood to your local blood bank also would be appropriate.
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