George Donald Wilhelm
May 6, 2023
George Donald Wilhelm, 81, of Tequesta, FL, and Penn Yan, NY passed away on May 6, 2023.
Don was born in Ithaca, NY on January 16, 1942, to the late Helen and George Wilhelm and was raised in Penn Yan, NY. Don attended St. Michael’s School and was a graduate of the Class of 1959 at Penn Yan Academy.
He enlisted in the United States Navy in October 1959 and was a Guided Missile Technician for U.S. Naval submarines. He served on the USS Toro and USS Sam Houston and transferred to the US Naval Reserve in 1963. In October 1965, he was Honorably Discharged from the Navy after his time in the Reserve. He often shared stories and spoke highly of his time in the Navy.
Don graduated from Syracuse University with a Bachelor’s degree in Zoology in 1969. He then attended the State University of New York at Buffalo, School of Dentistry, where he received his Doctor of Dental Surgery degree in 1974.
He was dedicated to serving his community as a dentist for more than 45 years. He began his career as a Resident Dentist at the Veteran Administration Hospital in Buffalo, NY and then moved to private practice when returning to Penn Yan in 1975. In the mid-1980s, he relocated to Florida and worked in private practice. He then joined the State of Florida Department of Health and worked in various dental, consultant and administrative roles. He retired from the State of Florida in 2012 as the Dental Executive Director for The Polk County Health Department.
Don was an avid reader, and he had an extensive book collection that he liked sharing with others. He also loved to travel and visit new places, and in his retirement got great enjoyment out of his love of older cars.
Don is survived by his wife of 34 years, Susan; his daughters, Heidi (Joseph) Ardizzi, Gretchen (Brian) Roberts; and his six grandchildren, Sophia, Isabella, and Ava Ardizzi and Logan, Mason, and Emerson Roberts. He is also survived by his siblings, Joanne (Jack) Gonyea and Robert (Betty) Wilhelm; his sister-in-law, Elizabeth Mahony; and many nieces and nephews.
In the last years of his life, Don fought a courageous battle with cancer. His family would like to thank all the medical professionals and staff at The Anderson Family Cancer Institute at Jupiter Medical Center for all their care and kindness, most especially Debra Brandt, DO.
To honor Don’s wishes, there will not be a service.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the Jupiter Medical Center Foundation for The Anderson Family Cancer Institute in honor of George Donald Wilhelm to further support oncology cancer patients and their families (jmcfoundation.org/ways-to-give/donate/). Jupiter Medical Center Foundation, 1210 South Old Dixie Highway, Jupiter, FL 33458.
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