In Memory of





Obituary for G. Donald "Don" Rathgeber

Garrett Donald “Don” Rathgeber, passed away peacefully at the age of 91 on October 15, 2022. Don was born January 8, 1931 in East Rockaway, NY to parents Jacob and Lena Rathgeber. Don received his Bachelor of Arts in Music from SUNY at Fredonia and graduate degrees from Ithaca College and SUNY at Albany.

After beginning his career with the New York State Public School System, he was called to serve in the United States Army from 1953 to 1955 as a trombone player of the Continental Army Band at Ft. Monroe, VA. He was honorably discharged at the rank of Corporal. Following his enlistment, he married Saretta Lois Pattison of Orchard Park, NY in April 1957; they enjoyed 57 years of marriage together.

Don returned to his lifelong career in education as a music teacher and guidance counselor. His talent and knowledge were enjoyed at schools throughout New York State including Kenmore, Scio, Iroquois, Grand Island, Saratoga Springs, and Ballston Spa. He began the last stop in his career with Fredonia Central Schools in 1970 from which he retired as the Director of Guidance in 1987. Throughout his personal professional life, he touched the lives of countless friends, faculty and students.

Don was always an active member in the community. He volunteered his time and skills at the Fredonia Opera House, Habitat for Humanity and many other organizations in Fredonia, NY, and Sebastian and Brooksville, FL. Some of his most enjoyable memories were playing his trombone at Chautauqua Institute as backup for entertainers including Smoky Robinson
and The Captain and Tenille. A talented musician who was a loyal, caring, and selfless family man and friend.

Don is survived by three children and dog “OP”: daughter, Lisa Bobotas (late Bill), of Hardeeville, SC; son, Gus Rathgeber and his wife, Beth, from Melbourne Village, FL, and daughter, Bizzie Cors and her husband, Brad, from Wooster, OH. He will be fondly remembered by his six grandchildren, and five great grandchildren located in Virginia Beach, VA, Fayetteville, NC, Houston, TX, Tampa, FL and Wooster, OH.

Calling hours will be held at the Larson- Timko Funeral Home, 20 Central Ave. Fredonia on Sunday, November 6, 2022 from 6:00-8:00 p.m. A funeral service will be held at the Fredonia First United Methodist Church, 25 Church St, Fredonia, NY, on Monday, November 7, 2022 at 10:00 a.m. with a short reception following at the church. (Don’s funeral service will be live streamed on his site on the Larson-Timko Funeral Home web site, beginning at 9:45 am on Monday, November 7 with the funeral service commencing at 10 am.) Don will be laid to rest that afternoon beside his wife Saretta at the Woodlawn cc