Donald J. Kluender
Donald J. Kluender, age 78, passed away on Monday, September 30 in Port Edwards after a courageous and brave 12-year battle with cancer.
Don was born on August 22, 1941 in Wausau to the late Reinhold and Catherine (Muelbeck) Kluender. A 1959 graduate of Wausau East High School, he went on to proudly serve his country as a Nuclear Weapons Specialist in the U.S. Army from 1964 -1966.
Upon his return from serving overseas, he married the love of his life Virjean (Jean) Maguire on June 25, 1966 at St. Paul’s Catholic Church in Mosinee. They were blessed with 53 wonderful years of marriage.
Don worked in the supermarket business, first at Red Owl and later at Bob’s Castle Foods, both in Wisconsin Rapids. He then worked at the Domtar Paper Mill until his retirement in 2004.
Don had a lifelong dedication to serving his community. He was a long-time member and leader in the Port Edwards Lions Club where he served in several officer positions. His service was recognized with the Melvin Jones Award, one of the highest honors a Lion can receive. He also was awarded the Knight of Sight Award from the Lions Eye Bank of Wisconsin.
He was an active member of the Knights of Columbus Council #1558. There he served as Grand Knight and for more than 30 years served as treasurer. Don was a member of the American Legion Post #9 in Wisconsin Rapids. He was also a dedicated member of St. Alexander Parish, serving on its Parish Council and on the Building and Grounds committee. He also served as an usher and Eucharistic minister.
Along with his wife, he volunteered for the Annual South Wood County American Cancer Society Daffodil Day and the Relay for Life. He delivered meals for the Riverview Hospital Home Delivered Meals program and was also a patient escort at Riverview for several years.
Among his many interests, Don enjoyed fishing as well as watching the Brewers and Badger Football and Basketball. He found great happiness spending time in his workshop where he especially loved building toys for his grandsons every Christmas.
In addition to his wife he is survived by two sons, Kevin (Sara) of Stoughton and Brian of Fitchburg. Don is also survived by his two grandsons Kyle and Alex who brought joy to his life like only grandchildren can. He is further survived by two sisters, Diane (Dave) Klimisch of Palm Coast, Florida and Sharon Kluender of Madison.
In addition to his parents, Don was preceded in death by his sister Barbara, his in-laws Jerome and Helen Maguire, brother-in-law Ronald Maguire and nephew Dean Maguire.
Funeral services for Don will be held at 11:00 AM on Monday, October 7, 2019 at St. Alexander Catholic Church in Port Edwards. Rev. John Swing will officiate the service. The family will greet relatives and friends on Sunday, October 6, 2019 from 4:00 PM – 7:00 PM at Ritchay Funeral Home in Wisconsin Rapids and Monday at the church from 10:00 AM – 11:00 AM. There will be a Knights of Columbus Rosary held at 6:30 PM Sunday evening followed by a Final Salute Ceremony by American Legion Post #9 of Wisconsin Rapids. Burial will take place following the funeral service at the Village of Port Edwards Cemetery with Military Honors provided by American Legion Post #9.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests contributions be made in Don’s memory to Children’s Oncology Services in support of Camp One Step, a summer camp for pediatric cancer patients. Contributions can be made online at bit.ly/donkluender.
The family wishes to thank the Aspirus Regional Cancer Center in Wausau, especially Dr. Harish Ahuja and his entire staff for the dedicated and compassionate care given to Don over the last 12 years. A special thanks as well to the outstanding staffs at Edgewater Haven and Aspirus Comfort Care and Hospice Services for their supportive care.