Donald G. Mentzel, age 87, passed away peacefully at home July 1, 2021, surrounded by family. He was born Jan. 25, 1934 in Chicago to Earl Mentzel and Olga Hutter. His parents liked to go fishing in Minnesota and stopped in New Lisbon-the halfway point. They decided they would like to move out of Chicago and purchased property in NL and they spent summers there starting in 1950. Don contracted polio at the age of 2, spent his early days playing in the streets of Chicago, and joined Boy Scouts.
Don graduated from Lane Tech, Chicago, in 1952 and attended Beloit College for one year. He worked for Badger Ordinance in Baraboo, and later for Lemonweir Valley Telephone Company (LYNXX) for almost 39 years.
Romance started after meeting Lucille Jepperson at a church function and they were married Aug. 6, 1955 in the New Lisbon United Methodist Church, honeymooning in South Dakota. They lived briefly in a NL apartment, then moved to Hog Island Road. Six dearly loved children were born over the next 12 years. Don loved his family, TV sports and fishing. The family dog(s) always became his lap dog. He taught the kids to throw a football, how to swim, to enjoy fishing and the importance of succeeding in school. They also learned how to curse a blue streak.
Don loved to bowl and bowled on several different leagues for many years and was Secretary of the League for awhile. He was a Charter Member of NL Lions Club and served as Boy Scout Leader in NL for a number of years, chaperoning scouts to Camp Decorah and earning his Eagle Scout Rank and 2 Palms.
He was a 66 year member of New Lisbon United Methodist (Winding Rivers), served as a lay speaker for many years, and spoke in a number of Methodist churches in the area when called to do so.
He is survived by his wife, Lucille, of 66 years, Dianne (Bill)Thompson of New Jersey, Robert (Brenda) of Las Vegas, Nevada, Gregg (Joy) of Gillette, Wyoming, Joanne (Cory) Krasselt of Marathon, Wisconsin, Charles (Deana) of Sparta, Wisconsin; Grandchildren, Linda (Alan Bishop), Elizabeth and Patricia Thompson, Sean Mentzel; Vickie (Brian Balo), Casey, Cullen and Clara Krasselt, Weber Mentzel, Brother Richard Mentzel of Appleton, 4 great grandchildren, 3 great-great grandchildren and many nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents Earl and Olga Mentzel, his in-laws, John and Anna Jepperson and daughter, Luanne who passed at 10 weeks old.
Funeral Services will be held on Friday, July 9th, 2021 at 11:00am at the Hare Funeral Home in New Lisbon (217 W. Pearl St). Relatives and friends are invited to a visitation on Thursday, July 8th, 2021 at the Hare Funeral Home from 4:00pm until 7:00pm. Rev. Deb Burkhalter presiding. He will be laid to rest in the New Lisbon City Cemetery. Memorial donations may be made to Winding Rivers Church or to the family for a future memorial .
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