In Loving Memory of

Donald L. “Big Daddy” Wakeman


Wakeman, Donald Lee, 83, Gainesville died April 25, 2013 at the E.T. York Care Center.  Don was born in Lebanon, MO and has lived in Gainesville since 1953.

Don was a Professror Emeritus at the University of Florida in the Department of Agriculture.  Don was a member of The Florida Cattlemans Association, Alpha Gamma Rho, Gamma Sigma Delta, The American Society of Animal Science and was the very first educator to be inducted into the Florida Agriculture Hall of Fame.


“Big Daddy” as he was affectionately called loved his work and took great pride and was very passionate about helping his students be successful. Don was an internationally known cattle judge and coached the UF Livestock Judging Team winning several national honors as well as having judged over 300 national and international breed shows. 


Don enjoyed the outdoors and loved to fish and was a huge Gator fan.


Don is survived by his wife Mary Lu, Sons, William L. Wakeman (Lyn) of Sarasota, David L. Wakeman of Gainesville, Daughter Sharon W. Liberty (Niyazi) of Istanbul, Turkey, and Two Grandsons (Christopher and Nicholas).

A memorial service for Don will be held on Monday, April 29, 2013, at 2:00pm in The Forest Meadows Funeral Home Chapel with a reception to follow at the funeral home. Inurnment will be at a later date at Forest Meadows Memorial Park Central. Memorial gifts may be given to the Don Wakeman Student Judging Support Fund. For more information, call the IFAS Development Office at 352-392-1975; or online at:


Online Condolences

2 Responses

  1. Bruce Christmas at · Reply

    Dear Mary and Family,

    I was saddened to hear of Don’s passing He will be greatly missed. Even though I wasn’t around him much in the later years, we spent some great times with him as a member of his first UF judging team. I was occasionally able to see him as I visited the campus. I admired his frankness and forthrightness. You never needed to wonder if you were doing it right. Take council with the Lord to receive the comfort that He has for you. Please accept my love, sympathy, and concern as a token to honor him.

    Bruce Christmas, Fall Team 1954

  2. Chuck & Elaine Calendine at · Reply

    Dear Mrs. Wakeman:
    We were saddened to hear of Dr. Wakeman’s passing. I had the opportunity of first meeting him and then interacting with him on an occasional basis when he would bring his UF judging teams to Santa Fe River Ranch for practice judging. Ed Calendine, my Dad, was the herdsman at the Ranch at that time and I was involved in FFA and working on the Ranch. My Dad has always had the highest respect and appreciation for your husband. In later years, he and you showed interest in the ministry work my wife and I were involved in and we always appreciated your support and prayers. Please know you have our prayers for God’s comfort and strength during this time and in the coming days.
    Chuck & Elaine Calendine

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