Donald W. Wall
January 16, 2018
Donald W. Wall, 85, of Houlton, WI, passed away peacefully on Tuesday, January 16, 2018 at Regions Hospital in St. Paul, MN, with his family by his side.
Don was the youngest of the 6 children born to Robert Thomas Wall and Louise Marie (Lickfett) Wall in Hutchinson, MN. Don grew up on the family farm near Lake Marion. He graduated from Hutchinson High and served in the Army National Guard during the Korean conflict.
In 1952, he married his first love, Ann Petry in Romney, WV. He and Ann were married 52 years and raised 5 children together. During the early years of their marriage, Don ran his own home improvement business in Merrifield, VA. That business grew into builder/developer in the suburban Washington, DC area where he built custom homes for families like his.
In 1966, when he grew tired of what he called the ‘rat race’ in the city, they moved to Culpeper, VA and raised beef cows. His prize herd of Charolais breeding cattle was very special to him. When they decided to head back north to Minnesota, his herd dispersal sale was very successful, but it was hard for him to see them go.
While he farmed near Glencoe, MN, the family lived on Lake Minnetonka and learned to ice skate and water ski. In 1969 he purchased the Olson family farm near Urne, WI which is now The Stone Barn serving gourmet pizzas to city folks and neighbors from a wood-fired oven built into the foundation of the old barn.
In 1979, they moved to Bloomer where he operated a dairy farm with his son Steven and family in Woodmohr Township. They milked Holsteins and raised corn and soy beans. Don disliked repairing machinery but loved just about everything else about farming — especially driving tractors and combines. He quit milking years ago but was always there for planting and harvest. He was running the combine last fall helping to harvest the soy beans when his heart started giving him trouble. He looked forward to working the fields and had no plans of ever retiring from that.
He cared for Ann during her 6 year struggle with Alzheimer’s disease. He taught his family and those around him what love in action looked like. She passed away in 2004.
In 2006, he met and married his second love Janet Marie Thompson, in Bloomer. They met and began dating in early 2006. They were traveling to see some Hutchinson relatives when he hollered “Stop!” He had found Susie, the 1958 Olds! They continued enjoying dates in Susie and married that year. They lived in Bloomer for several years, and moved to New Richmond where they lived for several more years. After a few years he got wander lust again and they moved to Houlton, WI. There they planted many gardens, a large orchard, and many plants and flowers. They spent a great deal of their time visiting the ‘retired folks’: nieces, nephews, cousins, and sister Violet. All of whom were older than Don. Jan’s dog Baxter would often accompany them on road trips. He attended every National Guard reunion while they were married where he maintained lifelong friendships and Jan made new precious ones. During this time with Jan, his number one passion remained his beloved farming with son Steve in spring and fall. He would pack up and stay on the farm until the work was done. Jan loved his entrepreneurial spirit and work ethic. It sustained his spirit his entire life. Each year he would be ‘ready to go’ early ‘just in case’ it was time to start farming. Generosity was a very remarkable attribute of Don’s. Jan saw many displays of his kindness, including one incident on a Sunday after church. Traveling Bloomer Main Street they saw a man outside the pawn shop apparently wanting to pawn his work tools. Don realized what he was about to do, stepped out of the car and visited with him for quite some time. He gave this stranger a generous amount of money so he would not pawn his source of revenue and asked that he pay it forward. He saw the ‘young’ Don standing there. That was how he was! He loved and helped others on a continual basis. He loved his spouses, his family, and his friends in such a selfless manner. That was how he was!
He was devoted to farm, family, and friends.
Delighted in his grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
Delighted in eating out, especially Friday night fish fry.
Enjoyed playing Pinochle, cribbage, and 500, Army reunions and family gatherings.
Loved music from the 40’s, 50’s, and old time music.
Loved gardening and tending to his orchard.
Loved woodworking, avid reader, awesome sense of humor, cartoon collector.
He could rock a cowboy hat.
He was happiest on a tractor planting seeds, smelling the dirt under wide open skies.
Don was preceded in death by his parent;, brother, Maynard; sisters, Florence Olson, Violet Schultz, Hazel Bengston, and Evelyn Penk; Jan’s sister Susan; his first wife, Ann; and infant grandson, Joseph Wall.
He is survived by his wife, Jan; children, Connie (Bob) Stone, Susan Fredericks, Barbara Wall, Steven (Susan) and Michael (Julie); Jan’s daughter, Christine Campeau Loegering, Scott Loegering; and son, Mark (Nancy) Campeau; Jan’s brother-in-law, Rick (Rene) Ottoy; sisters Linda Regan, and Mary (Wiley) Snell; grandchildren, Nicole (Scott) Bullard, Courtney Loegering Babinski, Alexandra Loegering, Emily Loegering, Elissa Loegering, Miles Holt, Susie Holt, Justin (Andrea) Stone, Nathan (Cassie) Stone, Christopher (Lani) Wall, Andrew (Molly) Wall, Rob Fredericks, Charlie Fredericks, Karl Wall, Kellie Fredericks, Kristen Fredericks, Beth Wall, and Emily (Kevin) Dietsche; nine great-grandchildren, Adeline, Avary, Kennady, Harper, Easton, Case, Alyvia, Bailee, and Rosalie; and many nieces, nephews, and cousins.
On Friday, January 26, 2018, a memorial visitation begins at 1 p.m. for friends and family to gather and share stories and photos at First Congregational United Church of Christ, 1324 15th Avenue in Bloomer. Celebration of Life will be held at 2 p.m. with Pastor Pauline Bangle officiating.
Schriver-Thompson Funeral Home & Chippewa Valley Cremation Services in Bloomer is serving the family.
Memorials will be gratefully accepted and will be directed to charities that Don was passionate about.
1-2 p.m. Friday, Jan. 26, 2018, at First Congregational United Church of Christ in Bloomer.
2 p.m. Friday, Jan. 26, 2018, at First Congregational United Church of Christ in Bloomer.
All flowers should bedelived to the church by 11 a.m. Friday.
Ray Dreger Don was a "once in a lifetime". Love him and his family forever and a day. He will be missed so very much!!
February 1 at 6:46pm
Dell Woodruff To the Wall Family,
Our deepest sympathy in the loss of Don.
I enjoyed my visits with Don. He was always positive, encouraging, and willing to share his
ideas and thoughts.
He will certainly be missed by the Wall family and all who knew him.
January 24 at 5:27pm
Jeffrey Ludwigson Don was a wonderful man. I am proud to say he was a great friend. He will be greatly missed.
January 24 at 12:13pm
George Klingbeil He generously shared his kitchen, his coffee, his time, a couple cigarettes, and most of all his faith in Christ with me, that's the person I will remember.
January 24 at 2:54AM
Kris Conrad-Sprung I only met and knew Don through business dealing. but he was such a kind gentle man. I'm sure his family and friends will very much miss him. my sympathy to all family.
January 22 at 12:40PM