Donald W. Koll, of Merrill, passed away October 25, 2016.
Donald was born November 15, 1924 to Dr. Alphonse and Clara (Melera) Koll in Gillett, WI. The family moved to Oshkosh after the death of his father in 1938.
Donald attended Oshkosh High School. He served in the U.S. Navy as a 1st Class Gunner’s Mate on two submarines, the SS Pollack and the SS Toro from April 1942 until November 1945, earning the submarine’s good conduct medal. He celebrated his 18th birthday on the SS Pollock. After discharge, he then served in the U.S. Army Reserve as a Master Sgt. for 12 years.
While scooping ice cream cones at Sunlight Dairy in OskKosh, Don met Elaine Smith. They were married in 1945, a marriage that lasted for 68 years until Elaine’s death in 2014.
Donald was employed by Wisconsin Public Service in Oshkosh for 18 years and in Merrill from 1964-1985, retiring as District Manager. He was a life member of the Submarine Veterans of WWII, VFW, and Old Timers Club. Before retirement he was very community minded. He was on the Board of Directors of the Merrill Action Corp, Vice President of Merrill Area Development, Lincoln County Sports Club, President of Rotary Club (he was honored with the Paul Harris award), Knights of Columbus 4th Degree and others.
Donald enjoyed hunting locally as well as in Colorado and Wyoming, and fishing trips to Canada. He looked forward to time spent with his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, especially at the cottage in the northwoods.
His last years were highlighted by a trip to Washington DC in 2012 with the Never Forgotten Honor Flight which meant so much to him. He also treasured continuing visits from his loyal friend Elroy Lemke. They shared many memories of their days with Wisconsin Public Service. While residing at Woodland Court, a favorite treat was to have lunch at the Eagle’s Club with family.
Donald is survived by his daughter: Mary Jo (Jay) Schnur, Merrill; son: John (Julie) Koll, Eau Claire; seven grandchildren: Paul, Rebecca, Jennifer, Rachel, Jeremy “Scott”, Bethany and Sarah; four great-grandchildren: Alexandrea, Anika, Aiden and Owen; and one sister: Faith Kromrey, Weston. He was preceded in death by his wife, parents, two brothers, one sister and one great-granddaughter.
A Funeral Liturgy will be held at 11:00 AM on Tuesday, November 1, 2016 at Waid Funeral Home Chapel. Deacon Jim Arndt will preside. Visitation will be from 10 AM until the time of the liturgy at the funeral home. Inurnment will take place at Merrill Memorial Park Columbarium. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to the Never Forgotten honor Flight, P.O. Box 5056 Wausau, WI 54402, Woodland Court Elder Service, 1102 S. Center Ave, Merrill, WI 54452 or St. Francis Church, 1708 E. 10th Street, Merrill, WI 54452. Waid Funeral Home of Merrill is assisting the family with arrangements. Online condolences may be made at www.waidfuneral.com.
Don and his family appreciated the care and kindness given to him at Woodland Court Elder Service where he resided for the past seven years.