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Donald Frederick Sager

Longtime local businessman and community leader, Donald Frederick Sager, 66, passed away peacefully surrounded by his family on March 17, 2005, at St. Joseph's Community Hospital in West Bend after a courageous battle with cancer. Born September 5, 1938. Beloved husband of Maradel, (nee Honold). Loving father of Scott (Karen), Susan (Todd) Zeeb and Sara (Michael) Lehner. Dear grandfather "Bumpa" of Kailee, Jonathan, Claire, Lauren and Hannah. Preceded in death by his parents, Frederick A. and Cloris A. Sager, and granddaughter, Amanda Lynn Zeeb. Survived by brother, Steve (Mary) Sager of Fond du Lac and sister, Marjorie (Glen) Klug of Boltonville, and many nieces, nephews and cousins. Donald is lovingly remembered by many friends and business acquaintances.

Donald was born and raised in West Bend. As a boy he loved to fish and hunt with his dog, Tucker. An athlete in high school and college, he played football and basketball. He attended Valparaiso University and was a member of Sigma Phi Epsilon Fraternity. He graduated in 1960 with a Bachelors' Degree in Business Administration. Donald returned home to take his place at his father's side in the family clothing business. He met the love of his life, Maradel and they married on August 12, 1961 and together raised a beautiful family.

Donald's father, Fred Sager opened Sager's Mens Apparel in 1932. Donald worked along side his father through high school and college. He took over the business from Fred in 1970 and made it his own. At one time, Sager's Mens Apparel operated in four locations, West Bend, Port Washington, Grafton, and Fond du Lac. Sager's Mens Apparel, in downtown West Bend, continues a rich tradition of formalwear and men's clothing through his children Scott and Sara. Donald was known for his swift use of a tape measure, he'd size you up in seconds, fit you with a suit or tuxedo and send you out the door. His philosophy was "We always try to sell a better product, and our customers aren't really our customers, they're our friends." His favorite time of the retail year was Prom season because he loved to tell the young men how to dress appropriately, tuck in your shirt, pull up your pants, open the car door for the young lady, shake her father's hand and ask "What time should I return your daughter, sir?" He also enjoyed working with wedding parties and reminding the nervous groom his first sentence should be, "I'm sorry, honey."

Donald was past president of the West Bend Area Chamber of Commerce and served on St. Joseph's Community Hospital Board for many years. He was a long standing member of the Downtown West Bend Businessmens' Association and was a member of the founding organizational team of the Teen Factory, predecessor of the Boys and Girls Club of West Bend. In 1985, Donald along with his son, Scott and five other men started the West Bend Hunter Education Program. This program has instructed over 3000 students in the safe and responsible handling of firearms in the past twenty years. Don always felt, "That if you take your kid hunting, you'll never have to go hunting for your kid!"

Donald was an avid outdoorsman and master tinkerer. He loved to train dogs, pheasant hunt, make lunch for deer hunting, hunt for ducks on the Mississippi River with his brother, fish for panfish and walleyes with his buddies, play with his grandchildren and use a 10 penny nail to fix everything. He had a great gift for painting, if it moved, he painted it and usually himself in the process, too.

He was a caring and loving man and would give you the shirt off his back if you needed it, or better yet, sell you one. He continually supported his family and community, and gave more than he ever had. He never said no. He will be greatly missed by his family and the community, he touched many lives.

Visitation for Donald will be Sunday, March 20, 2005, from 2 PM to 5 PM at Phillip Funeral Homes, 1420 W. Paradise Drive in West Bend. Funeral services will immediately follow.

In lieu of flowers, memorials to the Boys and Girls Club of West Bend, would be appreciated. Donald always felt that "our kids are our greatest gift."

The family is grateful to Dr. Rajesh Trivedi and his staff and the many other doctors and caring nurses who tenderly cared for Donald at St. Joseph's Community Hospital in West Bend, St. Luke's Hospital, and Froedert Hospital in Milwaukee.

Phillip Funeral Home

& Paradise Cremation Services

1420 W. Paradise Dr.

West Bend,WI 53095 (262) 338-2050
Published in Milwaukee Journal Sentinel on Mar. 19, 2005
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