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THE CITY REBORN FROM THE ASHES OF AMERICA'S MOST DISASTROUS FOREST FIRE
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Donald M. Huempfner

Issue Date: October 3, 2019

Our beloved, faith-filled and adventurous father, brother, grandfather, great-grandfather, uncle and dear friend, Donald "Don" Michael Huempfner, left our world to be with his Lord and Savior on September 24, 2019. 

Donald Michael was born on May 25, 1928, to Albert and Eva Huempfner. Many years ago, in Wausaukee, WI on a fate filled St. Patrick's Day, he had his first date with Mary Catherine Dunlap. A lifelong romance blossomed into 68 years of marriage, 11 children, 39 grandchildren, and 34 great-grandchildren. 

For the first years of their married lives they lived in Green Bay, WI before moving north to Pembine, WI, where they lived for 34 years before moving on to Oshkosh and eventually Fond du Lac in retirement. 

Faith, family, friends and pride of his country were at the center of his life. He particularly cherished his time afield. His passion for fishing and hunting in God's great outdoors with his family and friends was unsurpassed. His ability and willingness to tell stories of hunts past was a trademark of the man, and occasionally they were true.

Laughter, singing and prayer were his medicine and part of the legacy he leaves for all. Always quick with a joke and a desire to engage all in a good time, he was the ultimate in positive thinking and had endless enthusiasm for life. It was often said that if Don were down to his last dollar then he would buy a money belt.

He was a model of work ethic and persistence. He began his career working full time with the Milwaukee Road Railroad and moonlighted on weekends as a wrestler and travelled to major cities of the Midwest and Canada as "Don Dutch." Ironically, Don was predominantly of German heritage.

At the age of 40, after 20 years with the Milwaukee Road Railroad and with 9 young children at home, he left his stable job with benefits to start his own business in search of a better life for his family. In 1966, he established Midwest Plastics in Pembine, WI with a couple of partners. By the 1970s he had bought out his partners and established a couple of other locations across the Midwest.

In 1989, when their last child had graduated from high school, he and Mary retired to Oshkosh and then on to Orlando, FL. They would spend more than 20 years as snowbirds to Florida, where they created many memories with their children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

As the grandchildren began to marry, he became known for his memorable toasts at the wedding receptions. Never missing an opportunity to grab the microphone and the spotlight, he would share a song or two or four in honor of the special occasion and couple.

He will be missed by all as he goes to be with his wife in Heaven, who recently passed on March 9, 2019. We are comforted in knowing that they are reunited again and that he is now in the arms of our Savior with a peace that surpasses our understanding as he hunts the sacred grounds of Heaven with his dad, brothers and friends who have passed before him.

Donald Michael was preceded in death by his parents, Albert and Eva Huempfner; his infant daughter, Lynn Marie; grandson, Brian Joseph Kelly and four brothers.

He is survived by his children, Colleen (and David) Kelly of Marshfield, WI, Michael (and Cynthia) Huempfner and Brad (and Kathy) Huempfner of Bozeman, MT, Kim (and Jacky) Huempfner of Twin Falls, ID, Patrick (and Barbara) Huempfner of Peachtree City, GA, John (and Ramona) Huempfner, Tom (and Theressa) Huempfner, Todd (and Amy) Huempfner, of Fond du Lac, WI, Rick (and Christy) Huempfner of Grand Rapids, MI, and Donna (and Steve) Norlin of Wautoma, who cared for him with extraordinary love over these past five years. He is also survived by several siblings and in-laws, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and many friends who will all miss him dearly.

We give a special thank you to family and friends, who gave him such wonderful love and care these past five years. The family is so thankful for all the prayers and memories shared.

SERVICES: Donald's family will greet relatives and friends on MONDAY, OCTOBER 14, 2019 at Holy Family Catholic Church, 271 Fourth Street Way, Fond du Lac from 9:00 to 10:45 AM. A Memorial Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 11:00 AM. Entombment will be in Rienzi Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Don's name to the Dementia Society of America (dementiasociety.org), the Wounded Warrior Project (woundedwarriorproject.org) or Heroes' Hunt for Veterans (heroeshuntforvets.org) Online condolences can be shared at www.zacherlfuneralhome.com


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