Col. Donald Martin Gilner, 84, passed away Tuesday, Feb. 15, with his wife Celia by his side in Atlanta, Ga.
He was born May 16, 1937, in Atlanta, Ga., to “Papa Abe” and Anne Dubin Gilner. From a young age, he realized he wanted to become a doctor. He would say, “My health book says …” and his revelations would be known to the world! He met his wife, Celia Stone Gilner, in Denver, Colo., where he received his allergy and asthma training at National Jewish Hospital. He was a young doctor, and she was a registered nurse. They were a perfect combination.
He graduated from Riverside Military Academy and went on to Tulane, where he joined the Alpha Epsilon Pi fraternity. Donald enlisted in the Air Force and rose to the rank of Colonel. He was awarded the Meritorious Service Medal, the highest civilian award, for his lifetime of service. As a doctor, he had the highest standards and was recognized as one of the Top Doctors by Atlanta Magazine on multiple occasions. He had countless letters from patients thanking him for improving their lives and resolving many complicated medical issues. He continued his medical service after retirement, working at Fort McPherson and volunteered in Honduras with a medical group to treat many critically ill patients.
He was an active member of the Jewish War Veterans and Ahavath Achim Synagogue. Jewish teachings tell us to “repair the world,” or Tikkun Ha’olam, and that’s what Donald did. He impacted so many lives, while being known for honesty, integrity, kindness, compassion, forthrightness and charity.
He was a loyal and steadfast friend, proud of his country, Jewish heritage and the armed services he contributed to his entire professional life. He will be greatly missed.
Col. Gilner is survived by his wife, Celia Gilner, his children, Brian and Michael Gilner, his sister, Elaine Friedman and his grandchildren, Annabelle, Emma, David, Kemper, Briege, Avalon and Mirabelle Gilner.
Graveside services were held 1:30 p.m., Feb. 18, at Arlington Memorial Park in Sandy Springs, Ga. Arrangements by Dressler’s Jewish Funeral Care, 770-451-4999.
- Col. Donald Martin Gilner
- Celia Stone Gilner
- National Jewish Hospital
- Riverside Military Academy
- Tulane University
- Alpha Epsilon Pi
- Air Force
- Meritorious Service Medal
- Atlanta magazine
- Dressler’s Jewish Funeral Care
- Fort McPherson
- Tikkun Ha’olam
- Arlington Memorial Park