Donald J. Huss, age 89, passed away peacefully at his home surrounded by his loving family on March 11, 2023. Don was born on September 28, 1933, to the late Oscar and Mayme (Van Gompel) Huss and grew up on the family farm in Freedom where he learned the value of hard work and dedication. He worked hard to provide for his family, spending 47 years at Thilmany Paper, without ever taking a sick day. But his work didn't stop there – around his shift schedules, he also unloaded rail cars in Little Chute for Freedom Lumber and drove school bus for Garvey's Bus Service in Freedom. Don was also a proud member of the Freedom Fire Department and was the last surviving charter member.
Despite his busy schedule, Don always made time for what truly mattered: his family. He met the love of his life, Elaine, at her father's feed mill and after much persistence, won her heart. They were married at St. Nicholas Church, Freedom, on September 28, 1954, where they were lifelong members. Together, they raised five children. Their home which was built on the farmland where Don grew up was the gathering place for all of the family events and celebrations.
Don was always on the move and never one to sit still. He could often be found tinkering around the yard, fixing things, and even repurposing items long before it was trendy. He took great pride in the property he and Elaine loved. He continued to mow his lawn himself until he was 87 years old! Don enjoyed hunting and fishing with his sons and grandsons, and always looked forward to the gatherings at the family cottage, “Punkin’s Pad” in Lakewood. He was a dedicated family man and loved attending his children’s or grandchildren's sporting events or school activities.
Don is survived by his children: Rick (Connie) Huss, Bill Huss, Terry (Rose) Huss, Mike (Jacci) Huss and Amy (Jay) Duca; grandchildren: Nick Huss, Tara (Jeremy) Hanson, Dave (Suzanne) Huss, Jared Huss, Allie Huss, Brandy (special friend, Jim) Testinie, Theresa (Greg) Janssen, Danny (special friend, Tracy) Culver, Dustin (Jena) Huss, Andrew (Jessica) Huss, Rebecca (special friend, Chase) Huss, Tristin Duca, Sydney Duca and Eli Duca; 19 great-grandchildren and one on the way; three great-great grandchildren; siblings: Ardena (Art) Retzlaff and Tom (Sue) Huss; sisters-in-law: Audrey Huss, Anna Mae Huss and Judith Vandenberg; numerous nieces, nephews, other family members and many friends.
Don was preceded in death by his bride of 66 years, Elaine (Vandenberg) Huss; parents, Oscar and Mayme (VanGompel) Huss; father and mother-in-law: Edward “Punkin” and Mary (Guerts) Vandenberg, great-granddaughter, Destiny Brittain; sister, Linda Lou Huss; brother, Marvin Huss; brothers-in-law: Emil Huss and Casey Vandenberg; and his loyal canine companion, Goldie.
Visitation will be on Sunday, March 19, 2023, at the Verkuilen-Van Deurzen Family Funeral Home Freedom Location, N3972 Columbia Ave., from 1:00 p.m. until a prayer service at 3:30 p.m. Visitation will continue on Monday morning at St. Nicholas Catholic Church, W2037 County Road S, Freedom, from 10:00 a.m. until the time of the Mass at 11:00 a.m. Interment will be in the parish cemetery. For online condolences, please visit www.verkuilenfh.com.
The Huss family would like to extend a special thank you to the wonderful Home Instead staff and volunteers and ThedaCare Hospice. They took such good care of our dad and became like family. We will never forget your kindness and compassion shown to Don. He loved all of you. The family also wishes to express thanks to Deacon Gary and neighbors Jean and Ken Arps; Dan, Doreen and Grant Williamson and all the neighbors who looked after Mom & Dad over the years.
Our hearts are heavy as we say goodbye to our dear dad, beloved brother, cherished grandpa, and treasured great grandpa. We take comfort knowing you are with Mom and can imagine the two of you enjoying a fish fry and Old-Fashioneds together. Your legacy is not just in the years you spent with us, but in the countless moments of joy, laughter, and love you brought to our lives.
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