Donald K. Guenther, age 93, passed away peacefully on Saturday, June 29, 2019, after a wonderful pontoon ride at his son and daughter-in-law’s cottage on Clear Lake in Tomahawk.
Donald was born April 2, 1926, in Wausau, to the late Albert and Emily Guenther. He was a graduate of Wausau Senior High in 1944 and was a U.S. Navy veteran, having served in both World War II and the Korean conflict. He was a member of the American Legion and VFW.
Donald married Betty Jane Fuller on Christmas Eve at Christian Assembly Church in 1947. He later joined Peace United Church of Christ in Schofield. They welcomed a son, Lee Allen Guenther, in March 1952.
After Donald’s service in the Navy he went on to work at Zander’s Service Station in Schofield. Following Zander’s, he worked for Drott Manufacturing which later became Case. Donald enjoyed organizing rodeo events around the country to show off the latest Case equipment.
Donald and Betty bought a 120 acre farm in Ringle, where he ran a small nursery that brought him great joy. After leaving Case he joined Becker Communication and retired as President of Communications. After retiring, Donald and Betty wintered in Arizona for many years. He lost his wife, Betty, on Feb. 4, 1997.
Donald later married Betty Jean Eder and resided in Mesa, Ariz., until her passing on Dec. 24, 2017.
Donald was loved by many. He had an upbeat personality, a contagious laugh and always had a helping hand for others. He loved God, his family, his country and seldom missed a Brewer’s game or an episode of Gunsmoke. He was an avid photographer and a dedicated father and grandfather. He spent many hours with his grandchildren, watching sporting events, hiking and baking cookies in a log cabin he built on his property.
Donald is survived by his son, Lee; daughter-in-law, Julie, and her son, Trystan, Athens; granddaughter, Carmen (Brian) Letarski and their children, Jake and Bria, Schofield; grandson, Mike (Jessi) Guenther and their sons, Greyson and Graham, Severna Park, Md.; brother, Rev. David Guenther, Tenn.; sister, Beverly (Larry) Murphy, Mesa, Ariz.; sister, Faye (Gary) Liddle, Springfield, Mo,; and many nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Albert and Emily Guenther; his brother, Robert, and sister-in-law, Joyce; sister, Marianne Boneck; and sister-in-law, Gladys Guenther.
Donald had many special people in his life including his son’s first wife Janet, his second wife Betty Jean Eder’s daughter and granddaughter Tiffany and children. Our family would like to thank Athenian Assisted Living in Athens. Lisa, Lori and staff went above and beyond and for that we are eternally grateful. We would like to thank his special homecare nurse, Alice Haley, and his respite care friend, Sharon. They all treated him with such kindness and compassion.
A private celebration of his life and U.S. Naval military ceremony was held on Saturday, July 6. Don was a friend to everyone he knew and a blessing to us all.