Some may remember Don and Wanda Ault from the Sunsphere, where they had a shop during the years before the city sold it to private interests.
Others probably recall Don’s downtown horse-drawn buggy business, or maybe his exhibit in the Lifestyle and Technology Building at the 1982 World’s Fair, or his research as a historian working to preserve the legacy of his pioneer ancestor John Adair.
Or maybe your children have enjoyed the outdoor amphitheater at Shannondale Elementary School, which Don built pretty much single-handedly. Or maybe you’ve just wondered whatever happened to the 1957 Central High School graduate who used to know pretty much everybody and stayed involved with his community.
There’s a reason nobody has seen him in a while, and it’s not good.
Don and Wanda have fallen on hard times and are living in a tiny, 1979 camper attached to a small kitchen shed. Four years ago, the Aults purchased some rural acreage outside Knox County with plans to build their retirement home. Don was doing the work himself, and they moved into the camper to save money.
Their plans were upended when Don suffered a massive stroke. He has been bedridden ever since, and Wanda is his caregiver. The camper has no heat (except for a small space heater) and no bathroom. Friends of the family have started a GoFundMe campaign to help the Aults by raising money to finish the home Don was building before he was struck down. Please see the link here for further details.
The Aults’ address is 4575 Old Dixie Hwy, Evensville, TN 37332-3055, for anyone who might like to send them a card or a word of encouragement.