Donald W. Lander, 93, of Gainesville, passed away peacefully at the E.T. York Haven Hospice Care Center on June 18, 2012.
Mr. Lander was born in Holt, Alabama and moved to the central Florida area as a child. He attended high school in Bartow, and upon graduating he enlisted in the Army Air Corp and served as a radio operator in Burma during World War II. After the war Mr. Lander moved to Gainesville to attend the University of Florida, where he received a masters degree from the School of Agriculture. The majority of his career was spent as the Agricultural Extension Director of Collier County, in Southwest Florida. While serving as extension director he was instrumental in developing 4H programs throughout the state and was inducted into the Florida 4H Hall of Fame for all his accomplishments. He returned to Gainesville in 1996, where he became active in the China-Burma-India veterans’ chapter, serving as president. He was a member of Grace United Methodist Church, and a life long Gator fan.
He was preceded in death by his loving wife of 60 years, Betty M. Lander, and is survived by a daughter, Donna E. Lander of Franklin, N.C.; sons David C. Lander of Gainesville and Mark S. Lander of High Springs; 7 grandchildren; and 7 great grandchildren.
A graveside celebration of his life will be held on Monday, June 25, at 11:00 AM, at the Forest Meadows Memorial Park Central, located at 4100 NW 39th Avenue, Gainesville, Florida. In lieu of flowers the family requests donations be made in his name to the Haven Hospice Care Center.