Donald E. Kasparek

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Donald E. Kasparek, 100, of Prairie du Chien, died Thursday, March 16, at Crossing Rivers Health in Prairie du Chien, following a brief illness. 


Donald was born on Aug. 5, 1916, the ninth, and last, child of Joseph and Johanna (Mezera) Kasparek. 


When he was about 9 years old, his family moved to Chicago and he graduated there in 1933 from Farragut High School. That was in the middle of the Great Depression. Unable to find employment, he enlisted in the Civilian Conservation Corps in June of 1935 and served there as company clerk at the CCC camp at Wyalusing State Park until October of 1937. He was employed by the Paul H. Schmidt Ford Garage in Prairie du Chien, as bookkeeper-parts man from November 1937 until October 1950. On Nov. 1, 1950, he became postmaster at Prairie du Chien and served in that capacity until his retirement on August 12, 1977.


During World War II, Donald served from May 1944 to December 1945, with the Adjutant General Section of the 87th Infantry Division in the European Theater of Operations. 

On Nov. 23, 1939, Donald married Dorothy Nagel in Elkader, Iowa. To this union, one child, Bernice, was born in 1943. 


At different times, Donald served as President of the Prairie du Chien Kiwanis Club, Post Commander of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1945, Advisor for Explorer Post #320, Third District Commander of the National Association of Postmasters of the U.S., various offices in the LWR Genealogical and Historical Research Center, and member of the board of directors of the Prairie du Chien Chamber of Commerce. He was a long time member of the Freedom from Religion Foundation.


In his earlier days, Donald enjoyed stamp and coin collecting, playing both over the board and postal chess, gardening and reading. He participated in a few Wisconsin State Chess Tournaments. He was an avid genealogist, and traced his ancestors back to the late 1600s. On a genealogy trip with his wife to Czechoslovakia he visited the villages of his ancestors, and visited in the home in which one of his grandmothers had been born and raised. He enjoyed visiting with friends and family.


Donald is survived by his daughter, Bernice (Bob) Norman, of Prairie du Chien; and although never adopted, loved as his own, Marie Bunders and her son’s, Derek and Bubba; also a special niece, Marie’s sister, Lucy Couch; and many other nieces and nephews. 


He was preceded in death by his wife, companion and helpmate of 76 years, Dorothy; his parents; four brothers and four sisters. 


Funeral Services will be at 11 a.m. on Tuesday, March 21, at the Thornburg-Grau Funeral Home and Cremation Service in Prairie du Chien. There will be a one hour visitation before the service at the Funeral Home. After the funeral service, there will be Full Military Rites at the funeral home. There will be a private family inurnment at a later date in Evergreen Cemetery, Prairie du Chien. Condolences may be left for the family at The Thornburg-Grau Funeral Home and Cremation Service of Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin is helping the family with arrangements.


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