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The Northwoods River News | Rhinelander, Wisconsin

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January 19, 2020

12/7/2019 7:30:00 AM
Donald W. Kuczmarski

Donald W. Kuczmarski, 86, of Rhinelander, passed away Tuesday, Dec. 3, 2019 at Friendly Village.

Don was born in Starks on Thursday, Aug. 31, 1933, the son of Emil and Betty (Fojut) Kuczmarski Sr. He was raised in Starks and was a 1951 graduate of Rhinelander High School. He met his future wife, Clare Kelley in high school. The couple were married at St. Mary's Catholic Church in Rhinelander on Aug. 29, 1953.

He was the captain of the Starks Baseball Team that made it all the way to the state championship tournament. He played for the Rhinelander Green Sox, Merchants and Shorties in the Valley League. He also played for the Starks Team in the County League and the Valley League. He later umpired in the Valley League. Don also played softball for the Mint Bar and Pat Deau's.

Don was employed at the Rhinelander Paper Mill for 40 years. Upon his retirement, Donald and Clare enjoyed winters in Arizona. Don was very active in the 12-step recovery program.

He will be dearly missed by his wife, Clare; children, John (Lynn), Colleen (Rick), Brian (Linda) and Patrick; grandchildren, Marcus, Mackenzee, Heather, Ryan, Dillon, Emma, Meghan and Kyle. Also surviving are brothers, Carl, John, Richard and Conrad; sisters, Betty Kopp, Ramona, Charmaine and Barbara Day. Don is further survived by nieces, nephews and other relatives and friends.

He was preceded in death by his brothers, Emil Jr. and Robert, and by one sister, Joyce.

The visitation for Donald will be held on Monday, Dec. 9, 2019 at the Hildebrand Funeral Home from noon until the 2 p.m. memorial service, with Chaplain John Uhlarik officiating. Inurnment will take place at Nativity of Our Lord Catholic Cemetery at a later date.

Hildebrand Funeral Home & Cremation Specialists, 24 E. Davenport Street, Rhinelander, Wisconsin 54501, 715-365-4343. Everyone is invited to light a candle, sign the guestbook, leave a photo or an online condolence at

Reader Comments

Posted: Saturday, December 14, 2019
Article comment by: Richard Rolain

So sorry to hear about Don’s passing. He was a good friend and we shared a love of WI sports. Also, we enjoyed many winters in AZ with Don and Clare. Our condolences to the family.

Posted: Monday, December 9, 2019
Article comment by: Ken Pazdernik

Clare, John, Colleen, Brian, Pat,

So sorry to hear about Don. Growing up, I always thought he was a great guy especially since he knew more about sports than any of the other parents. I was only able to watch him play near the end of his playing days but I remember thinking how cool it was that my friend's dad was still playing and playing well.

Posted: Saturday, December 7, 2019
Article comment by: Richard Scharp

Don was my best friend from the third grade on. We played a lot of baseball and basketball togetherl. He was a great teammate and will be missed.

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232 S. Courtney Street, Rhinelander, WI 54501 | Office (715) 365-6397 | Fax (715) 365-6361

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