Donald C. Klussendorf
July 16, 1923 - Aug. 22, 2008
Donald C. Klussendorf of Sturgeon Bay, formerly of North Prairie, died Friday, Aug. 22, 2008, at Door County Memorial Hospital in Sturgeon Bay. He was 85 years old.
Don was born July 16, 1923, in Waukesha, the son of the late Fred and Della (nee Eble) Klussendorf. He was a farmer from birth. He graduated from Waukesha High School in 1941 and attended the University of Wisconsin in Madison to study agriculture. On Dec. 21, 1946, he married Louise G. Wapp at the Evangelical Reformed Church in Waukesha.
The Klussendorfs first worked a farm across the road from Crites Field in Waukesha. Interested in expanding their farming operations while continuing in partnership with Donís father Fred, they moved west after a few years and bought a larger farm in Pewaukee near the site of the present Country Inn north of Interstate 94, west of Waukesha. But the coming of the freeway in the late 1950s, which heralded the beginning of the end of dairy farming in that area of the county, and Fredís early passing changed their plans. After several years on the Pewaukee farm, Don, Louise and their growing family moved again, this time to a larger family farm on Highway 59, just west of the little village of North Prairie, in the western part of the county.
At the time they established the Broadlands Farm west of North Prairie in 1960, the Klussendorfs were milking 60 registered Holsteins and farming 224 acres. Following a disastrous barn fire in 1972 that destroyed the barn and his young stock, Don rebuilt his operation, and in partnership with his oldest son Rob, expanded the Broadlands Farm. In addition to increasing the herd size to 185 registered Holsteins, new barns were built, a specialized milking parlor and confinement area for young stock and cows was constructed, and the size of the farm was increased to 525 acres. Broadlands Farm was well-known throughout the county for its modern dairy practices, showcased on several occasions for the public when the Klussendorfs were chosen to host the annual Waukesha County Dairy Breakfast. In 1975, Broadlands Farm was featured on the NBC "Today" show, and, in the early 1980s, one of the countyís first earth homes was constructed on the farm for the Klussendorf residence.
After more than 70 years on Waukesha County dairy farms, Don and Louise retired in the early 1990s and moved to Sturgeon Bay, where Don helped Louise start and run the Hearthside Bed and Breakfast and Country Dance Barn.
Don was actively involved in the Christian community throughout his life. He was a stalwart member of the Evangelical Reformed Church in Waukesha, in which he was married to Louise and saw his five children baptized, before joining St Johnís Lutheran Church in North Prairie while farming there. After moving to Sturgeon Bay in the early 1990s, Don and Louise joined the Prince of Peace Lutheran Church and contributed significantly through their support and enthusiasm to that churchís expansion and new building program.
Don was extensively involved in public service, voluntary and farming advocacy organizations throughout his life. He served on the North Prairie School Board and Town of Genesee Planning Commission, in addition to other public service duties and responsibilities. In addition to his service as vice president of the Waukesha County Fair Board, he worked as Swine and Dairy superintendent, and was proud of the honor accorded him by his selection as honorary fair marshall in 2005. Don was a Wisconsin Master Farmer, and was active in Waukesha County 4-H programs for more than 50 years. He was a longtime member of the Waukesha County Farm Bureau and served as its president from 1981 to 1984. Don also belonged to numerous national, state and local dairy and pork organizations, including the Wisconsin Pork Producers and the Milwaukee Milk Producers.
Donís family remembers with great fondness the example he set throughout his life through his love of God and Christ, his extended family, his friends and associates, and his enthusiasm for and broad knowledge of Wisconsin and Waukesha County farming. He will be sadly missed by all who knew him.
Preceding him in death were his parents and one brother, Delbert Klussendorf.
Survivors include his wife 61 years, Louise; sons, Rob (Chris) of North Prairie and Mike (Katie) of Wausau; daughters, Cheryl (Pete) Almberg of Oshkosh, Helen (Pete) Leenhouts of Port Ludlow Wash., and Jill (Gary) Bacon of Waukesha; grandchildren, Erica (Roy) Spatz of Elkhart Lake, Ryan (Cheri) Klussendorf of Medford, Beth Klussendorf of Fairfax, Va., Bekah Klussendorf of Milwaukee, Heather Klussendorf, Jordan Klussendorf, Nicole Almberg of Milwaukee, Katherine Leenhouts and James Leenhouts and Justin, Derek, Kyle and Julie Bacon; great-grandsons, Kale, Owen and Max Klussendorf; sisters, Dorothy Becker and Lorraine Berthold; sisters-in-law, Melicent Hilsman, Susan Boulch, Diane (Elmer) Kowalski and Ruth Klussendorf; and brothers-in-law, Louis Wapp, Andrew Wapp and Douglas Wapp.
After a private family interment at Highland Memorial Cemetery in New Berlin, memorial services will be held Friday, Sept. 5, at Fox River Christian Church at Highway 164 and Highway I, south of Waukesha. The family will host a fellowship in honor of Donís life at the church between 4:30 p.m. and 6 p.m. to be followed by a memorial service and light refreshments.
Memorials may be made in his memory to Prince of Peace Lutheran Church in Sturgeon Bay, the Farm Bureau Foundation and the Waukesha County 4-H program.
Huehns Funeral Home of Sturgeon Bay Bay is serving the family, (920) 743-5635. An online guest book is maintained at www.huehnsfuneralhome.com.