Do it Best, local philanthropist Don Wolf dies at age 90

Don Wolf (Hite Funeral Home)

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (ADAMS) – Don Wolf, former president and CEO of Do it Best Corporation for over 25 years passed away on Wednesday, September 11, at the age of 90.

He became CEO of Hardware Wholesalers Inc. in 1967, where he worked until 1992. In 1972, Wolf co-founded and served as the first president of Big Brothers of Greater Fort Wayne. He became president of the national board of Big Brothers Big Sisters of American in 1977, a position he held until 1980.

Wolf also founded Study Connection in 1989 in partnership with Fort Wayne Community Schools, an initiative that helps students with building confidence. It currently serves around 1,000 students a year.

His obituary described him as a man who was passionate about giving back to his community.
“He served on many board throughout our community and was the key player in planning the restoration and raising funds to restore both Salomon Farm Barn and the Salomon Homestead,” reads his obituary.

“He has numerous awards including the Sagamore of the Wabash, Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from both Purdue University and Vincennes University, Journal Gazette Citizen of the Year, Pathfinders Award from Youthlinks Indiana, Junior Achievement Hall of Fame, American Red Cross Humanitarian of the Year, and in 2013 was presented by then Governor Pence the highest honor in the state of Indiana, the Sachem Award.”

Don and his wife, Virginia were married for 70 years. The obituary says they had “four wonderful children, Rebecca (Albert) Jacquay, Donna (Mickey) Myer, Richard (Andrea) Wolf, and Lisa (Bruce) Miller. They have thirteen grandchildren and fourteen great-grandchildren. He is preceded in death by his parents, Ellis & Bessie Wolf, brother George Wolf and sister-in-law Wilma Wolf, sister Maxine Van Horn and brother-in-law Bill VanHorn, and sister-in-law Katie Wolf.”

Services will be held Saturday, September 21, 2019 at 11:00 AM at Trinity English Lutheran Church in Fort Wayne. The burial will be private at Concordia Cemetery Gardens in Fort Wayne. Memorial donations may be made to Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Northeast Indiana.

You can read the full obituary here

Mayor Tom Henry released the following statement on the passing of Don Wolf:

“Our community mourns today at the passing of Don Wolf. Don is one of the most generous and authentic men I’ve ever met. I was honored to call him a friend.

A lot of people will remember Don for his successes in the home improvement industry, but I most appreciated Don’s commitment to so many worthy causes such as Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northeast Indiana and Study Connection in partnership with Fort Wayne Community Schools. Don was always giving back and thinking of others first.

Earlier this year I had the privilege of proclaiming June 18, 2019, as Don Wolf Day in the City of Fort Wayne as a way to thank him for his many accomplishments. It was a moving celebration for a man who did so much to make Fort Wayne a better place.

Cindy and I express our deepest condolences to Ginny and the entire Wolf family.”