Donald “Donnie” or “Don” Robert Pflughoeft of Marshfield, formerly of Loyal, was born to Leo and Ethel (Stelloh) Pflughoeft in Neillsville, WI, Aug. 3, 1932. He passed away at the age of 91 March 17, 2024. 

     Don grew up on a dairy farm in Neillsville with his parents and three sisters, Betty, Mary, and Pat, and attended the Silvercrest School. He worked on renovating houses with his grandfather, a time he looked back on fondly. He was drafted into the army in 1953 and served in the Korean War. During his time in the service, he was injured by a boulder falling on his ribs and his leg. He would share his rendition of this story with anyone would who take the time to listen to him. When he came home safely, he returned to his parents and continued to work on the farm. 

     Donald married the love of his life, Hazel J. (Schwamb) Pflughoeft, July 22, 1961. They had a son and a daughter together that they brought up in Neillsville. During their time together, they enjoyed owning a dairy farm. At the same time, he hauled mail for USPS. Together, they farmed for 34 years, and he hauled mail for 35 years before retiring in Loyal. His retirement was spent enjoying time with his friends and family. Whether it be ice fishing, bowling or visiting casinos with Hazel, he was always on the go. They were also dedicated to running their paper routes for Buyers Guides and Black River Shoppers on Tuesdays and Fridays. Don and Hazel were married for 51 years before her passing. He prided himself in saying how they never had a fight during that time. 

     After his wife passed away, Don was fortunate enough to go on an Honor Flight to Washington, D.C., to see the war memorials with other veterans. This was a pivotal moment for him, as prior to this, he did not talk about his time in Korea. This helped with his healing and gave him the proper welcome home he deserved. He also has a memorial stone at The Highground, which he was very proud of.

     In his last years, he spent most of his time with family and friends. He was still going to the casino, fishing when he could and tinkering with anything he could get his hands on.

     He is preceded in death by his wife, Hazel Pflughoeft; his father and mother, Leo and Ethel Pflughoeft; his sister, Mary Pietenpol; and brothers-in-law Kenneth Keller and Don Aumann.

     Donald is survived by his son, Dale (Lynn) Pflughoeft, and daughter, Lori (Larry) Buffington. He is also survived by four grandchildren, Christopher (Brooke) Pflughoeft, Erin (Karl) Battin, Hannah (Matt) Thayer and Kayla (Scott) Marx. He is survived by three great-grandchildren, McKenna Pflughoeft, Shania Pflughoeft and Lillian Marx. He is also survived by his two sisters, Pat Keller and Betty Aumann, and brother-in-law David Pietenpol. 

     We’d like to thank the employees of Wells Nature View for their tremendous help with Don over the last three years since COVID. They treated him like family and made sure he was well taken care of. Also, thank you for all the care provided by St. Croix Hospice.

     Funeral services were held at 11 a.m., Monday, March 25, 2024, at the Gesche Funeral Home in Neillsville. Visitation was from 10 to 11 a.m. Monday prior to the service.  Military Honors were accorded by the Neillsville Veteran’s Council and took place at Neillsville City Cemetery where Don is interred. 

     In lieu of flowers, memorials could be directed in Donnie’s honor to The Highground, W7031 Ridge Road, Neillsville, WI  54456.

     Online condolences could be made at

     The Gesche Funeral Home assisted Donnie’s family with funeral arrangements.

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