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Donald "Don" Robert Juhl
July 4, 1937 ~ January 23, 2024 (age 86) 86 Years Old
Donald “Don” Robert Juhl was born in Ashland Wisconsin on July 4th, 1937 (a true firecracker) only child to Martin Ellis Juhl and Nora ‘Dunbar’ Juhl. Originally named Martin Robert Juhl, which was later changed to Donald Robert Juhl on 11/28/1937. As a small child, Don lived in several Midwest locations, settling in Ashland, Wisconsin where he was born. Don’s father was an officer of the Lake Superior District Power Company and became its president. Don’s mother was an educator, then a housewife.
Don came to Ashland in his fourth-grade year. He was larger and stronger than the other boys and immediately became the star of the recess football games. “It is ever easy to get through those guys, eh!” He explained. Later, as other boys grew taller and heavier, he lost his athletic dominance but it did not prevent him from playing as a reserve end on Ashland High School’s undefeated football team of 1955, the year Don graduated, where his play contributed to the depth that made the team so good. That team was statistically the best team in the high school’s history, outscoring its opponents 282 to 14.
Don grew up first in an old house near Seegers Grocery on 7th Street and later in a new house on 7th Avenue West where he spent his teenage years. The Juhls always had several pets in their house. For a time they included “Spot” a lazy and very smelly Spaniel, and “Queenie,” an ill-tempered smaller black spaniel who barked all the time. On the other hand, “Tomitha,” the cat, usually called “Bitter” was quiet and beloved by all including Don’s friends.
Don was an excellent musician and played his tuba in the Ashland High School band that won many awards during his time, including the national recording for Sousa’s “Stars and Stripes Forever” that won first place in 20th Century Fox’s contest in conjunction with their movie of the same name. He also gained notoriety for being one of four bassists to win first place in the state ensemble competition playing an original composition entitled “Basses Loaded.” The judge was impressed he put down the music and listened in awe. Later Don continued his musical career in several Army bands. Don continued to play his tuba in various bands over a span of 65 years.
Don had the good sense to court classmate, Patricia “Pat” ‘Hagen’ Juhl, whom moved from Hurley Wisconsin to Ashland around 1950. Don and Pat were married on July 6, 1957 at Presbyterian Congregational Church in Ashland Wisconsin. After a honeymoon in Canada, Don and Pat made their home in Milwaukee area. Their union spanned over 66 years.
Don and Pat have one daughter Mardy Ellis Juhl. Don’s favorite person, his grandson, Lincoln Juhl Goldsmith, calls him “Papa.”
Don started to attend Milwaukee School of Engineering and nearly finished, but ended up being drafted to the Army in 1958. Don was proud to be an Army Veteran. During his time serving he was a member of the US Army military band. Don was an E4 in 84th Division headquartered in Milwaukee. He demonstrated his pride throughout his life by saluting other service men and women and confidently wearing his cap with the Army emblem/insignia.
Don worked many interesting jobs, starting employment in the Kelley Dock Board. From there, Don worked for Sterling, and then Don started working as a tool engineer at Allis Chalmers. Then Don worked as mechanical engineer at Faustel, GFG Corporation, and Dritec for a total of 48 years. In his “retirement” Don worked at Bill’s Power Center repairing engines for 15 more years.
Don was preceded in death by his parent Martin Ellis Juhl and Nora ‘Dunbar’ Juhl.
Don is survived by his wife of 67 years, Pat, daughter Mardy Ellis Juhl, grandson Lincoln Juhl Goldsmith, many nieces, nephews, and cousins.
Don grew to love fast sports cars, snowmobiles, planes, and boats. In Ashland, Don would go out on his father’s fishing boat, then later spent many weekends of time captaining the family boat at both Milwaukee River, and then Lake Winnebago at the marina.
Don loved to tinker. Don had such an interest in figuring out complicated things and putting anything back together, fixing them. He spent hours in his garage working on machines of every sort, being the first person in his neighborhood to maintain a motor bike. There was always a project in progress. Don could build and captain boats (He was in the Coast Guard Auxiliary as a boating instructional commander), flew airplanes (was a licensed pilot), and could fish for the “big one.” He was incredibly intelligent, had so many talents, was funny, adventurous, was strong, but has a very sweet gentle side. Don had an infectious smile and laugh. Don is known for his teasing nature, he was a prankster, and did many fun and kind things, and had a disposition that was the envy of anyone who knew him.
Everyone loved being surrounded by Don. All who knew Don, loved his energy, his creativity and his self-effacing way he engaged with those around him, always having a great outlook on life. He made his wife, daughter, grandson and rest of his family priority. Don loved to attend all sporting events of his daughter and grandson.
Everyone is devastated by the passing of Don “one of the good ones.” Don always said he wanted to be alive for when his grandson, Lincoln graduated high school. Don has left us with his memory of being a teacher and protector of his family, transfer of gentle strength to carry on.
Don was the best Son, Husband, Father, Papa, Uncle, Cousin, Friend, a person could ever have. We have given you one last hug, kiss, and love you. You said “no suffering” before your passing. We know that the Lord took you to your eternal home with Him before any earthly suffering could begin. Comfort was provided by Don’s family at his hospital bed side. His favorite song was played minutes before his passing “When Yuba Plays the Rumba on the Tuba down in Cuba.”
We will love you and miss you each and every day.
Special attention to Dr. Brian Negrini, Don’s nephew, who orchestrated Don’s care while hospitalized in the intensive care unit at Froedert Hospital. Also, special thanks to the doctors and nurses at Froedert hospital, whom allowed Don to never give up his zest for life, as Don selflessly, wanted to be alive to care for his wife.
Private Interment will be held on Don’s 87th heavenly birthday on July 4, 2024 at New Hope cemetery in Ashland Wisconsin, in the Juhl family plot.