Cover photo for Donald Retzlaff's Obituary
Donald Retzlaff Profile Photo
1935 Donald 2022

Donald Retzlaff

November 5, 1935 — February 6, 2022

Donald A. Retzlaff, age 86, of Ripon, WI, passed away surrounded by his family on Sunday, February 6, 2022 at Ripon Community Hospital, after experiencing complications from a stroke.

Don was born November 5, 1935 at home in Green Lake County, the son of Otto and Dora (Stollfuss) Retzlaff. He graduated from Berlin High School with the Class of 1954. Don married Caroline Badtke on September 14, 1957 at Our Saviour’s UCC in Ripon, where they have been lifelong members. They moved 4 times in their married life and never moved farther than 2 miles from their first home together. Don worked a short time at Speed Queen in Ripon, and spent the rest of his years farming. He celebrated 50 years of farming on Searle Rd. on October 1, 2020.

Don was a member of the Green Lake County Farm Bureau, Ripon Lions Club, Ripon Harmony Kings, the church council (including the office of President of Our Saviour’s UCC), church choir and Town of Metomen board supervisor. He played Dart Ball and was on the Relay for Life “Save Yours” team for several years. He also played cards on the Monday night Smear League, Tuesday and Thursday were reserved for Sheepshead, and Don looked for any other chance to get a game together. He also enjoyed attending the activities of his children and grandchildren over the years, spending a lot of time climbing on the bleachers!

Donald is survived by his wife, Caroline Retzlaff; two daughters, Susan (Dennis) Jahns and Diana (Steve) Olm; one son, Christopher (Ruth) Retzlaff, all of Ripon; grandchildren, Ryan Jahns, William (Trisha) Olm, Kyle Jahns, Stephanie (TJ) Miller, Trisha (Landon) Ellis, Nicholas Retzlaff, Benjamin Retzlaff and Grace Retzlaff; great-grandchildren, Hayden Olm, Oakley and Wyatt Miller, and Owen Ellis; sister, Kathryn Lang, sisters-in-law, Janice Retzlaff and Patricia Retzlaff; and brothers-in-law, James (Sandy) Badtke, Tom Badtke, and Jon (Shirley) Badtke. He is further survived by several relatives, nieces, nephews and friends. Don was preceded in death by his parents, Otto and Dora Retzlaff; two brothers, Orville and Carleton; one sister, LaVern; sister-in-law, Doreen Badtke; and brother-in-law, Dave Lang.

A visitation for Don will be held on Friday, February 11, 2022 from 4 – 7:00 pm at Butzin-Marchant Funeral Home, 515 Mayparty Dr., Ripon, WI 54971 and again on Saturday, February 12, 2022 from 9:30 – 11:00 am at Our Saviour’s United Church of Christ, 343 Scott St., Ripon, WI 54971.

A funeral service for Don will be held on Saturday, February 12, 2022 at 11:00 am at Our Saviour’s United Church of Christ, with Rev. Dr. Kevin P. Mundell officiating. You may view a livestream of Don’s funeral service at 11:00 am by visiting CLICK TO WATCH DON'S FUNERAL SERVICE AT 11:00 AM LIVESTREAM. Interment will follow at Nepeuskun Cemetery, Town of Nepeuskun, WI. Memorials in Don’s name may be directed to Our Saviour’s United Church of Christ, 343 Scott St., Ripon, WI 54971.

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