Donald Victor Okonek passed away on Sunday, June 23, 2013, at St. Mary's Medical Center in Duluth following a brief illness.
Born on July 18, 1926, to Estelle (Rannetsberger) and Victor A. Okonek, Donald lived, worked, and played on the shores of Big McKenzie Lake his entire life. Following graduation from Spooner High School in 1944, he farmed with his father and took over the dairy farm in 1954. He met his wife, Alice Brooks, at the Indian Creek dance hall, and they were married in 1952. They purchased Vic's Cottages in 1966, which they operated for 30 years. Following retirement from farming Don worked for his son, Gerald (OK Construction) for several years. He served the town of Scott community, first as snowplow and road-grader operator, then for 25 years as a volunteer fireman. Don loved the outdoors of northern Wisconsin. He hunted and fished, water-skied and sailed, gardened and golfed, snowmobiled and bowled. He had a lifelong passion for flying and piloted his own plane as a young man.
Don is survived by his wife, Alice; three children, Cynthia Ann (Vic) Perger of Spokane, Wash., Gerald Don (Linda Esser) of town of Scott, and Jean Marie (Terry) Ranney of Hudson; six grandchildren, Allison Ashley, Stephanie Perger, Dan Okonek, Cathy Furgason, Heather Okonek, and Kyle Okonek; six great-grandchildren, Isabelle, Declan, and Liesel Ashley, and Eleanor, Jackson, and Greta Furgason; one sister, Eleanor (Roman) Broeckert, of St. Nazianz; many other family members, neighbors, and friends.
He was preceded in death by his parents and a grandson Trevor Don Okonek.
Don's life will be celebrated on Friday, June 28, at Sacred Hearts of Jesus & Mary Catholic Church, town of Scott, where he served in many capacities throughout his life. Visitation will start at 9:30 a.m. followed by Mass at 11 a.m. Lunch will follow burial at Sacred Hearts Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, and because of Don's interest in aviation, memorials may be made to Spooner High School Aviation Club.