Our family lost a loving husband, father, grandfather, brother and friend on Thursday, Nov. 1, 2018. Donald Lee Beghin, of Mount Horeb, passed away at St. Mary’s Hospital surrounded by his family.
He was born May 9, 1927, in Mauston, to Louis and Clara Beghin. Donald grew up on a farm northwest of Wisconsin Dells. He graduated from Wisconsin Dells High School in 1945, and was recently inducted into the Wisconsin Dells Hall of Fame. Called to duty in World War II, he served in the U.S. Army and completed a tour in Italy, then was honorably discharged as a Staff Sergeant in March 1947.
After returning home he attended the University of Wisconsin-Madison, studying animal husbandry and agriculture. During summer breaks he was a tour guide driving the Wisconsin Dells excursion boats on the river.
On Oct. 26, 1949, he was appointed Conservation Warden for the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. He had a long and distinguished career with the DNR holding many positions, including field warden, boating administrator and district warden. Donald was one of the first wardens with wings, piloting the DNR’s first aircraft. He created the Wisconsin Boater, Hunter and Snowmobile Safety Programs. Don received the Governors Special Award for 33 years of service to the state of Wisconsin. His career culminated with the position of Chief Warden which he held for nine years before retiring in 1983.
Don married the love of his life, Marian Marie Parsons from Portage, on June 12, 1954. Together they raised four children. Donald enjoyed life to the fullest with his family. He was an avid outdoorsman, enjoying hunting and fishing. When there was talk of a fishing trip, Don was ready to go. Fishing trips to Fitchie Lake, Canada and Ball Club Lake, Minnesota, with friends and family were a regular pilgrimage. He enjoyed working with wood and helped to create heirloom furniture made from the trees on the farm. Because of his roots in farming, he loved to get his hands in the dirt. In retirement, Don and Marian traveled extensively enjoying many trips abroad and crisscrossing the country in their motorhome. He enjoyed a good game of bridge and never turned down a game of cribbage. He was a member of the United Methodist Church in Mount Horeb and a proud member of the American Legion.
Left to honor his memory is his wife of 64 years, Marian; his children, Bradley (Mechelle), Randall (Terri), Patricia (Mike) and Lynn (Alan); his sister, Betty; grandson, Daniel; and numerous nieces and nephews. He is preceded in death by his parents, Louis and Clara Beghin; and his brothers, Kenneth and Robert.
A Memorial Service will be held at 11 a.m. Friday, Nov. 9, at Mount Horeb United Methodist Church, 9542 County Highway S, Mount Horeb, with the Rev. Julie Wilson presiding. Visitation will be held from 9 a.m. until the start of the service Friday at the church.
The family would like to thank St. Mary’s Hospital and the ICU staff for their excellent compassionate care. In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to the Badger Honor Flight, a charitable cause that Don felt strongly about, or to the Wisconsin’s Endangered Resources Fund. Online condolences may be made to Gunderson Camacho Mount Horeb Funeral and Cremation Care at www.gundersonfh.com.