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Donald Martin (Don) Erpenbach


1930 - 2016 Obituary Condolences
Donald Martin (Don) Erpenbach Obituary
Erpenbach, Donald (Don) Martin

Donald (Don) Martin Erpenbach, 85, formally of Neillsville and Marshfield, passed away peacefully on Novemeber, 16, 2016 at the Wisconsin Veterans Home at Chippewa Falls with his son at his side.

Don was born on December 4, 1930 in Clark County to Anton and Margaret (Yndogliato) Erpenbach. He graduated from Neillsville High School in 1949. After high school he performed milk testing and artificial insemination in St. Croix County, WI until he was drafted into the army for the Korean War. He served from 10/23/1952 to 8/28/1954 in the I Company, 14th Regiment, 25th Division (Tropical Lightning) and 2nd Battalion. After serving in Korea and honorably discharged, he attended the University of Wisconsin - River Falls and majored in Agricultural Education. His first teaching position was at Tripoli, WI where he taught from 1958-1963. In 1963, Don took a position in the Stratford school district where he taught agricultural and driver education and then a guidance counselor and finally principal. During this time he received his masters degree from the University of Wisconsin in Madison, of which he was most proud. He also received a specialist degree in education administration from University of Wisconsin - Superior. He was married to Karen Lange on January 29, 1966 in Waukesha, WI. They later divorced on July 30, 1990. Don took a position in 1970 as superintendent and principal of the Granton school district and was part of the administration that brought a swimming pool to the district. In 1977 Don took a position as a guidance and career counselor and professor of psychology, sociology and human behavior the Mid-State Technical School in Marshfield. He retired from teaching in 2000.

Don was a member of various organizations and most proud of being a Mason. Don enjoyed traveling and was very proud of his German heritage, visiting Germany a number of times through the years. He also visited Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union in 1970 during the height of the Cold War. He also visited China and walked on the Great Wall in 1998, which was a dream he had since his days in a one room school house. He also enjoyed traveling to Sturgis, SD each year as part of the yearly motorcycle rally even though he never road a motorcycle. Don enjoyed meeting different people from different cultures and backgrounds. Many of these experiences lead to the numerous stories he shared with his students as learning examples. Don spent his summers during retirement selling elephant ears and cheese curds at various fairs and festivals. Don also enjoyed attending auctions and finding antiques that might still have value. He especially liked to find a good deal and stretch a penny.

Don is survived by his son Eric (Rachel) of Oronoco, MN, granddaughters Sophie and Macey, brother Bill Erpenbach of Neillsville and numerous nieces, nephews and friends. He is preceded in death by his parents and sister Martha (John) Bergemann.

Memorials may be directed to the Wisconsin Woodlands Owners Association PO Box 285, Stevens Point, WI 54481.

Family and friends are invited to a celebration of life with luncheon to be held at the Neillsville Country Club on December 3 starting at 11:00 am.
Published in the Marshfield News Herald on Nov. 19, 2016
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