Donald L Waldvogel
Mar. 16, 1942 - May 13, 2021
Hilbert, WI
Funeral Service:
Thursday, May 20, 2021
4:00 pm
Ebenezer United Church of Christ
44 W. Washington St.
Chilton, WI 53014
Funeral Visitation:
Thursday, May 20, 2021
2:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Ebenezer United Church of Christ
44 W. Washington St.
Chilton, WI 53014
Donald L Waldvogel
Hilbert, WI

Donald L. "Don" Waldvogel, age 79, of Hilbert, died on May 13, 2021, at his residence near Hilbert after earning his wings through various illnesses over the past nine months. He was born March 16, 1942, son of the late Clarence and Luella Waldvogel. He met his wife, Connie, on e-Harmony in 2007, and it was love at first sight. They got married on June 29, 2013.

Don always loved machinery and going fast. He fixed up old cars in high school and turned them into street rods. When he wasn’t racing cars he was racing other schools in Cross Country. He liked being the center of attention so he was part of the Drama club in high school and played the lead character in his senior class play. 

Don drove milk truck with his dad and brother in the Chicago area, where  he fell in love with farming. He worked on a dairy farm out of high school before getting married. He started renting a farm in Frankfort, IL, before moving and renting farms in Southern Wisconsin (Bellville and New Glarus) for a few years. Then he went back to Frankfort to drive truck. He had his own Kenworth cab and was very proud of it. He drove independently across the U.S. before an accident destroyed the truck and caused him serious injury to his back and knee. 

Don was forced to stop driving so he went back to school at Illinois State where he was a member of the cattle judging team and won a national event at the Cow Palace in San Francisco. He was a proud member of AGR and helped set up the chapter at Illinois State and later at the University of Missouri.

For a few years after graduating in agricultural education, Don worked back in Southern Wisconsin. He was a high school agriculture teacher, County Extension Agent, and a farm manager across a number of dairy farms owned by a large investment group. During his work, he bought a farm outside of Watertown. At one point he was renting two other facilities besides his home farm, while also selling Canadian dairy genetics in Wisconsin. He bred some nice cattle including selling bulls into AI studs.

Don sold out during the whole herd buyout in 1985 and ’86, and relocated to Hilbert. During the transition he was still milking cows in Watertown while finishing his appraisal schooling and training, including traveling back-and-forth to the Appleton area. After he left Watertown, he established Land and Enterprise Management. He became a member of the Technical College board, continued his interest in breeding dairy cattle, and his love for all things agriculture never faded. He even went back to driving milk truck on the side for Golden Guernsey and Alto Dairies. Connie says he looked like a king on a thrown when he was on a tractor out in the field, where he was happiest. He often took off his shirt for his work on the tractor and teased Connie that women would constantly honk their horns at him when they drove by. He assured Connie that he always put up his left hand to show that he had a wedding ring because he was scared they would stop their cars and attack him. Don had a booming voice and liked to talk to people. He would wander away from Connie when they went shopping and he saw someone he knew but she could always find him because she could hear him no matter where they were in the store. 

Don loved to travel and visited family in the Netherlands and New Zealand, and took multiple trips to the UK. He was very active in his church at Ebenezer UCC in Chilton. He was a member of the church council and his deceased wife, Jeris, started the bell choir. He was her right-hand-man and they travelled all over the world performing. He established the Jeris Music Scholarship after her death. 

A few month’s before Don’s death, his oldest son, Don, Jr., passed away. Don, Jr. had been a helicopter pilot in the Army, doing missions in Afghanistan. After being cremated, Don, Jr.’s son, Torre, took his remains by helicopter over the places his father loved most. Connie was able to bundle Don up and get him out to the porch to wave to the helicopter as it made three passes over the family property. 

Don is survived by his wife, Connie; his eight children; eighteen grandchildren; eight great-grandchildren with one more coming; his brother: Alan (Theresa) Waldvogel; a niece; brother-in-law; cousins, other relatives, and many friends.

Don was preceded in death by his parents, Clarence and Luella; previous wife; Jeris; his son: Donald, Jr.; and his niece: Tammy Waldvogel.

A funeral service is scheduled for 4:00pm on Thursday, May 20, 2021, at the Ebenezer United Church of Christ (44 W. Washington St.) in Chilton. Friends may call at the church from 2:00pm until 4:00pm at the church on the day of service. Visitors are encouraged to dress casually in Don’s favorite colors: John Deere (and Packers) green and gold. Those who wish to watch a livestream of the service, watch it in the future, or view flowers given to the family, can click HERE

In lieu of flowers, please make donations to St. Vincent de Paul or Ebenezer UCC Handbell Choir of Chilton.
Uncle Don, as well as Aunt Connie, always welcomed my children and I even though I was related to him through my Aunt Jeris. We live in WA State and spent a week or two during the summer months, driving back to see them when the kids were growing up. I knew he loved us and that meant the world to all 3 of us. Uncle Don, you were the best. As my now 33 year old daughter said, “Well this sucks!” ?? Will miss you so very much. ????

Cathy DeSart (Uncle) - June 5, 2021

My condolences to Don's family. Don was a good man who contributed a lot to Fox Valley tech as a board member and to the technical colleges statewide. I always enjoyed working with him on tech college issues. He was good to me. He was interesting and interested in everyone and everything and a funny and fun guy. RIP, Don.

Paul Gabriel - May 20, 2021

I am deeply saddened hearing of Don’s passing. I will miss hearing his booming voice and our talks whenever we would run into one another. He was always an Illinois connection with my late husband Dan and myself. My deepest condolences to the family.

Ellie Hilton (Friend) - May 18, 2021

My sincerest condolences Connie. It was wonderful getting to know you both and in the short time that I knew Don his sense of humor showed through despite his medical issues. God Bless!

Mary Jo Anhalt R.M.A./Ascension - May 18, 2021

The cardinals are at my birdfeeders as I read Don's many blessings. While I only knew you both for a short time through your visits to St. John's church you always came with a smile and warm wishes.

Nancy V - May 18, 2021

My deepest condolences.

Deb DeLanty Tasch (Friend) - May 15, 2021

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