American Patriotic 10
Official Obituary of

Donald "Don" J. Hessefort

August 14, 1936 ~ February 29, 2024 (age 87) 87 Years Old

Donald "Don" Hessefort Obituary

Donald “Don” J. Hessefort Sr., 87, of Medford, passed away Thursday, February 29, 2024 at Aspirus Care and Rehab, surrounded by his loving family, under the care of Hope Hospice.

A funeral mass for Don will take place at 12:00 PM on Thursday, March 7, 2024 at Our Lady of Perpetual Hope (OLPH) Catholic Church in Whittlesey, WI, with Father Julian Druffner officiating.  Visitation will take place at OLPH Catholic Church from 10:00 AM until the time of service at 12:00 PM. Military rites will be performed by the Medford Area Military Honors Team. A luncheon at the church social hall will follow the service. Burial will take place at Molitor Cemetery at a later date.

Don was born on August 14, 1936 to Edmund and Margaret (Larsen) Hessefort in Medford. He served in the Army and National Guard with combined service from 1960 -1966, during which time he was called to active duty during the Berlin Crisis. After his service he returned to the Medford area and his logging profession. On his way home from the woods one evening in March he stopped to aid a young lady that had hit a deer on the road. They were old acquaintances from childhood school days. It took him about a week to get up the courage to ask her out and they dated for a few months before he asked her to marry him. He was married to, Janet Westrich, on October 29, 1966 at Holy Rosary Catholic Church. As she says she got “two deer with one shot”.


In his early years Don worked on the family farm and spent the winter months logging. This seasonal logging transitioned into his full time occupation until his retirement. He was also a saw mill operator and a log truck driver.

Don was a very active member of Holy Rosary Catholic Church, where he and Jan helped serve meals and wash dishes for funerals. They also spent many hours collecting tons of aluminum cans for the Cans For Kids program. They both were awarded the Spirit of Stewardship Award for the Diocese of Superior in 2007. Don was the Grand Knight for the Knights of Columbus for several years. He was honored as Knight of the Year in 2001.

Don is survived by his wife of 57 years, Janet; children, Lynn Hessefort of Medford, Lori (Kevin) Basch of Plover, and Donald (Karen) Hessefort Jr. of Medford; granddaughter, Kayla Clark of Medford; siblings, Linda Jones of Long Beach, CA, Mark (Robin) Hessefort of Waunakee, and Robert (Twila Clarkson) Hessefort of Medford; sisters-in-law, Mary Hessefort (James), Nona Dalke, Inez Sykes, and Sandy Salaja; Don is further survived by other family, friends, and furry grandchild Lucky.

Don was preceded in death by his parents, brothers, Lee Hessefort and James Hessefort; brother-in-law, Allen Westrich; sisters-in-law Patricia Wodjac and Mary A. Hessefort.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations in Don’s name may be given to Holy Rosary Catholic Church in Medford WI or the Taylor County Humane Society.

The family would like to thank the staff of Aspirus Care and Rehab, Cedar Lane Assisted Living, and Hope Hospice for the compassionate care Don received.

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March 7, 2024

10:00 AM to 12:00 PM
W5409 Whittlesey Ave.
Medford, WI 54451

Funeral Mass
March 7, 2024

12:00 PM
W5409 Whittlesey Ave.
Medford, WI 54451


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