Cover photo for Donald Gelaude's Obituary
Donald Gelaude Profile Photo
1939 Donald 2021

Donald Gelaude

December 2, 1939 — September 25, 2021


Donald H. Gelaude, 81 of Orion IL, died Saturday, September 25, 2021, at University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, following a farming accident.  Don died doing what he loved the best, farming. He farmed his entire life.

A Christian Mass will be held 10:00 a.m. Friday, October 1, 2021, at Mary, Our Lady of Peace Catholic Church, 1402 10th Street, Orion IL. Burial will follow at Western Township Cemetery.  Visitation will be 4 - 7 PM, Thursday September 30, 2021, at Esterdahl Funeral Home, Ltd, 1301 4th Street, Orion. Memorials may be made to the family for a memorial fund to be established later.

Donald was born December 2, 1939, in Moline, IL, the son of Julius C. and Estella M. DeVrieze Gelaude.  He married Diane Larson, the love of his life, on January 28, 1961, in Milan, IL.   Don was a member of Mary Our Lady of Peace Church, Orion. Don was a strong, quiet, and caring man. He loved his church and his family. Don was so proud of all his children and grandchildren. He enjoyed spending time with them. Don loved the land. He was a Moews seed corn dealer for over 40 years. Don enjoyed attending farm shows, toy shows and county fairs. He was an avid John Deere collector both of big toys and small toys. Don loved his John Deere tractors! He spent many hours restoring, buying, and selling. When you drove into the driveway of the Gelaude Farm, you knew you were in John Deere Country. He was a member of the Two Cylinder Club. Back in the 60’s and 70’s, Don spent many years with other farmers fighting for Collective Bargaining with the National Farmers Organization before all the big corporations took over. Don loved country music. He was not a traveler but did like traveling to Nashville and listening to the Grand Ole Opry. Donald always had a Blue Heeler dog at his side. Jack was his faithful companion in recent years.

Survivors include his wife of 60 years, Diane; children, Theresa Burns, Orion, Thomas (Chantelle) Gelaude, Lynn Center, Marlene Gelaude-Shattuck, Coal Valley, Daniel J. Gelaude, Lynn Center, Ronald (Julie) Gelaude, Moline and Michael Gelaude, Coal Valley.

Grandchildren:  Trenton Burns, Alissa Gelaude, Andrew (Stephanie) Gelaude, Ben Gelaude, Annie Gelaude, Jesse Shattuck, Sawyer Shattuck, Hannah (Jared) Reschke, Madelynn Gelaude, Braxton Gelaude, and Chase Gelaude. Great-grandchildren, Julius, Charlotte, Joseph, John, Leo, Silas, Juniper, Augie, Margaret, a sister

Mary Ann Schmidt, Taylor Ridge and several nieces and nephews.

Don was preceded in death by his parents, and a brother Joe DeVrieze

The family invites friends and family to share stories and condolences on the tribute wall.

To send flowers to the family in memory of Donald Gelaude, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Thursday, September 30, 2021

4:00 - 7:00 pm

Esterdahl Mortuary & Crematory, Ltd., Orion

1301 4th Street, Orion, IL 61273

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Mass of Christian Burial

Friday, October 1, 2021

Starts at 10:00 am

Mary Our Lady of Peace Catholic Church

1402 10th Street, Orion, IL 61273

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