Donald Gumbrecht

Obituary of Donald Gumbrecht

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Donald Richard Gumbrecht
(June 22, 1935 – May 24, 2022)
Don was the loving husband of his college sweetheart, Peggy (nee Marget Pardy), devoted son of Clarence (d) and Dorothy (d), brother/brother-in-law of Jeanne (d) and Ray (d) Slattery, brother-in-law of Jim and Jo Pardy, and Paul (d) and Alice Pardy,  father/father-in-law of Mari and David Hahn, Richard and Joanne Gumbrecht, Susan Reagan and Rick Kresick, Ed and Carolyn Gumbrecht, Kate Hunter, Pete and Tina Gumbrecht, and Amy Madigan and John Wederman, grandfather of Ryan and Sean (d) Hunter, Lauren Bongiorno, Elizabeth Nuss, Melanie and Casey Reagan, Alan and Dan Scardapane, Sarah Madigan, Stephen, Jenny, Emily and Claire Gumbrecht.  He was the friend, confidant, and role model to legions of fortunate community members and colleagues.
Don met the love of his life in college. For 63 years Peg and Don lived their love story.  Peg brought out his good humor and inspired his success in business and in the community.  In recent years they worked side by side in their home-office, pioneers in the WFH movement.  Their mutual affection never failed to elicit a twinkle in his eye, and smiles from those present. For 58 years Don and Peg called Huntington their home.  They raised seven children in the “new house” on the hill, Sunset Drive, which they bought in 1967.
Don and Peggy enjoyed deep and lifelong friendships and an active lifestyle.  With friends and family they sailed, took bike trips, ran, swam, kayaked, cross-country-skied, played volleyball, and traveled throughout the US and Europe. Don often swam laps at West Neck and Centerport beaches.  He and Peg loved to people-watch at the beach and top off their day with dinner at Cassis in Huntington.
Don was raised in Williston Park, NY, attended St. Aidan elementary school and Mineola HS, and received his Bachelors in Marketing and Advertising at Hofstra College. Don founded, owned and managed Donald Gumbrecht & Co. For 52 years his advertising agency and publishing firm served NY businesses and trade associations.  He continued to manage accounts through January of this year.  He was proud of his history of hard work, and was never without a job since his days as a Newsday paper carrier and soda-clerk at Hildebrands. He was an Army Captain serving in the signal corps.  He was the Managing Editor of the Long Islander, a job that had once belonged to Walt Whitman.  He was also an account executive at the Philips Alogna agency in Garden City. 
Throughout his long life Don volunteered his time and talents.  He was active in the Catholic church, both at St. Patrick in Huntington and Our Lady Queen of Martyrs in Centerport.  He was lector, publisher of the parish news, and extraordinary minister.  He served on the school board, and led many projects and task forces.  He had a special reverence for the elderly, taking post graduate courses in gerontology.  For many years he drove seniors to appointments and visited with residents at local nursing homes.
His friends will miss his warm smile and big heart.  He was kind, generous and cared deeply about people.  His legacy is a broad group of friends, relatives and inspired do-gooders.   
A note regarding Covid. The virus was a contributing factor to Don’s life-ending illness.  Mindful of safety and of Peggy’s recovery from recent illnesses, there will be no public wake.  A mass of Christian burial will be held at Our Lady Queen of Martyrs.  Close friends and family will attend wearing N-95 masks. After the mass, Don’s immediate family will memorialize him privately.   His family asks that in lieu of flowers, friends consider a contribution to the Family Service League of Huntington.

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