Donald L. Coshun, DVM

Donald Lee Coshun was born in Waukesha in 1938. He was the youngest of three sons born to Melba (nee Downing) and Hollis Coshun. Donís grandfather Downing had come to the city of Waukesha to practice veterinary medicine around 1908. Dr. Melvin Downingís practice grew to include sound partners, including Donís uncle, Glenn. Don knew as a child that he wanted to follow in their footsteps. He did this by attending the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and then earning his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine in Minnesota. It was at the University of Minnesota that he met the woman he would spend the next 48 years with, Jean (Olsen). Don said it was love at first sight, and the two married after a six-month courtship. He returned to join the Waukesha Animal Hospital and continued the family tradition of providing excellent animal health care, eventually coming to own the practice and a second in Sussex.

He and his wife enjoyed a full life together, raising two daughters, Melissa (Pat) Tarpey and Karn (Tom) Hopp, on a property southwest of Waukesha. Over 43 years, they poured their labor and their hearts into an old farmhouse and turned it into a beautiful homestead. Their lives were rich with wonderful friends, family, travel and involvement in causes close to their hearts. Don was involved in numerous veterinary organizations, including AAHA, and was a charter member of the Kern Foundation, which assists in the provision of animal care to pets whose owners in Waukesha County are unable to afford care on their own. He was on the board of Ventures in People for more than 10 years and participated in eight medical missions to Haiti with the group.

After retiring, Don fully enjoyed his involvement with the Daylily Society of Southeast Wisconsin, opening his gardens for tours and becoming an avid daylily hybridizer. Don became a certified scuba diver after his retirement, enjoying several dive trips and sharing his love for the sport with his grandchildren. He also enjoyed a late career designing wire wrapped jewelry with his wife.

Don courageously fought heart and lung disease for 16 years. After an acute illness, during which he received excellent care, he suddenly left our lives Friday, Oct. 2, 2009.

Special thanks to the cardiac care staff at Waukesha Memorial Hospital, Dr. Jane Neumann, Dr. Sanjay Singh and Dr. Mike Long.

Don is survived by his wife, Jean; his daughters; and his grandchildren, Ryan and Jamie Tarpey of Glenview, Ill., and Brittany, Tanner and Morgan Hopp of West Bend. He will be missed, but the love and lessons he has shared with us though his 71 years will not be forgotten. He was a compassionate veterinarian, wonderful husband, a caring father and an attentive grandfather. He is also survived by his brothers, Larry (Judy) and Ken (Bev).

The family would appreciate memories or stories by those who knew Don to be written and sent to Jean in care of Church and Chapel Funeral Home, 380 W. Bluemound Road, Waukesha, WI 53188.

In lieu of flowers, memorials can be sent in Donís memory for Ventures in People or for the Kern Foundation, also in care of Church and Chapel.

The family will host a tour of his garden in Donís honor during the next daylily season.