Donald Enock Wistrom, 84, of Grantsburg, passed away Wednesday, Sept. 25, 2019 at the St. Croix Regional Medical Center.
Donnie was born Jan. 12, 1935 in Grantsburg the son of Enock and Amanda (Hegge) Wistrom.
He attended grade school in Alpha and high school in Grantsburg. Donald served in the United States Army from June 12, 1956, to June 11, 1958. He returned to Grantsburg and worked for McNally Brothers until 1971. After a short time at Penta Wood Products, Don started at Northwestern WI Electric Company on the tree crew. Later, he became a lineman and continued at that until he fell with a pole that broke off in the winter of 1973. Don loved working on the line crew with Darrell Finch, Lyle Finch and John Dahlberg. All three became his lifelong friends.
He was introduced to his best friend and love of his life, Kathleen (Kathy) Brenizer by her brother Russell Brenizer, at the roller-skating rink in Frederic. Don and Kathy were married Jan. 23, 1960 at the sand farm; the same house where Kathy had been born and raised. Their daughter Sheila was born March 13, 1961; the night that Ingemar Johansson fought Floyd Patterson for the Heavyweight Championship of the World. He made many trips between the hospital and the car radio to monitor the progress of Sheila’s debut and the results of the fight. He recalled this story to Sheila every year on her birthday.
This family of three took many trips “out west.” In October 1971, the family was overjoyed to welcome a son and brother, John Donald. Now, the family of four, continued to explore the west which was Don’s favorite place to vacation. Don passed on his love of guns, hunting, shooting and the outdoors to John. Father and son spent endless hours in the woods behind their house until John’s heartbreaking death in November 1992.
Don started recording the daily weather in 1964. This changed into a daily diary in the 70s. If you called or visited Don and Kathy, you became part of the diary.
He served as President of the Grantsburg Rod & Gun Club for many years and was a lifetime member of the National Rifle Association.
Don’s life was enriched further with the birth of his grandchildren, Joshua John in 1989 and Tiffany Jo in 1992. Josh and Tiff spent endless hours at their grandparent’s house and went on countless little vacations. Don and Kathy rarely missed Josh and Tiff’s sporting events. He missed meeting his great granddaughter, Presley, age one, by a few days. Anyone that knew Don, knew of his love for family and friends, guns and hunting, country music, dancing and joke telling. Ole and Lena were his favorites, along with the tongue twister “In and Out.” Don’s memory of history, events and dates amazed people up to the end of his life. Don loved socializing and was usually the “life of the party.”
He will be sadly missed by all that had the pleasure of knowing him!
He was preceded in death by his parents, Enock and Amanda; son, John Donald Wistrom; granddaughter, Jennifer Marie Meyer; sister, Florence Jensen-Graves and his brothers, Emmons, Fred, Burt, Russell and Teddy.
Donnie is survived by his wife, Kathleen, Grantsburg; daughter, Sheila (Mike) Meyer, Grantsburg; grandchildren, Josh Meyer, Virginia Beach, VA, Tiffany Meyer (Dayton), Grantsburg; great granddaughter, Presley Meyer; brother, Curtis (Karin) Wistrom, Dresser; sister, Laura Bjkorklund, Grantsburg; many nieces, nephews, other loving family and friends.
A Celebration of Life will be held Friday, Oct. 4, 2019 at 3 p.m. (visitation 2-3 p.m.) at the Swedberg-Taylor Funeral Home in Grantsburg. Military Honors will be accorded following the service at the Swedberg-Taylor Funeral Home. Visitation will be held at the Swedberg-Taylor Funeral Home Thursday, Oct. 3, 2019 from 4-8 p.m. Please join the family for a nice meal and fellowship following the service at Hummers Event Center in Grantsburg. The Swedberg-Taylor Funeral Home of Grantsburg has been entrusted with arrangements. Online condolences can be made at www.swedberg-taylor.com.