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Donald "Don" D. Litchfield

Donald "Don" D. Litchfield

February 18, 2017

Donald Dean Litchfield died at The Classic on February 18, 2017. We imagine there to be a joy filled reunion when he passed from us to those who waited for him beyond our sight.

Don was born on November 1, 1923 in Mondovi, WI to Thomas Litchfield and Myrtle (Trowbridge) Litchfield.  At a young age he moved to Eau Claire and spent most his life here.  Donald graduated from Eau Claire High School in 1941.  During his high school years he loved being in plays, playing football and often talked about his time working in a flower shop on Barstow where he would help the ladies pick out their favorite poinsettia and then later deliver it. After high school Don attended the University of Wisconsin, Madison, where he played football as a Badger and remained by a lifelong Badger fan.  His time at Madison was short as war broke out and he joined the United States Army Air Corp.

In the Army Air Corp, he became first pilot and flew B17 Bombers.  He was sent to England and flew 22 missions over Germany before the end of the war, catching flack 11 times.  He was only 20 years old when he began leading his crew of eleven. 

Upon his return from serving his country, he and his brother Tom, built Litchfield Trucking and Automotive, at the crossroad of highway 53 and 93.  Highway 53 was the route for all vehicles between Minneapolis and Chicago and Litchfield Crossroads was the first twenty four hour truck stop between those cities, offering great food and service.  Don worked with his father in downtown Eau Claire selling Chryslers, De Soto’s and Dodge’s until 1973, when they moved from downtown to the Crossroads and sold used cars there.  Many people remember buying a car from Don.  He sold his last car at the age of 87.

Don and Joan Anderson were married on June 5, 1946 at Grace Lutheran Church where they were lifetime members. They moved into their house on Halsey in December of 1947, just a couple of months before they welcomed their son, Frederick, (Fritz), into the world, who was followed by Stephen and Richard (Ricky).  They spent much time up at their cottage in Chetek.  Sadness filled Don’s life with the tragic deaths of his son, Ricky in 1967 and his wife, Joan in 1973.

In 1979, Don married Shirley Wright and he often attributed his longevity to his friendship and marriage to Shirley.  Don was a member of Kiwanis for over 60 years and flipped many pancakes for their annual Lumberjack Pancake Feed.  In 2015 he was inducted into the Eau Claire Chamber of Commerce Hall of Fame.  Don was well known, respected and loved by many in the Eau Claire community. 

Don was preceded in death by his first wife, Joan, his sons, Fritz, Stephen and Ricky as well as his daughter in law, Fritz’s wife, Katherine (Kitty) Murphy Litchfield, his wife, Shirley Wright, and siblings, Lorrain Larson Willson, Erna Olsen, Doris Speckien Herrick, & Thomas Litchfield Jr.

Don is survived by his grandchildren, Molly (Dave) Ryder and Josef (Lila) Litchfield, his great grandsons, Jay and Drew Ryder, Conner Litchfield and his sister, Lois Bodeau, as well as numerous nieces and nephews.

Funeral service will take place at 11 am on Thursday, February 23, 2017 at Peace Lutheran Church, 501 E. Fillmore Avenue, Eau Claire, WI 54701 with Pastor Tim Stein officiating.  Visitation will take place at Fuller Speckien Hulke Funeral Home on Wednesday, February 22, 2017 from 4:30 - 7 pm and at the church Thursday morning from 10 am until the time of service.  Burial with military honors rendered by American Legion Post #53 will take place in the Forest Hill Cemetery in Eau Claire immediately following the service.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be given in Don's name to a charity of the donor's choice.

Friends and family may offer condolences online at www.fullerspeckienhulke.com.

Fuller Speckien Hulke Funeral Home, 3209 Rudolph Road, Eau Claire, WI 54701 is assisting the family with the arrangements.

Visitation

Visitation will take place at Fuller Speckien Hulke Funeral Home on Wednesday, February 22, 2017 from 4:30 - 7 pm and at the church Thursday morning from 10 am until the time of service.

Service

Funeral service will take place at 11 am on Thursday, February 23, 2017 at Peace Lutheran Church, Eau Claire, WI 54701. with Pastor Tim Stein officiating.