In Memory of Donnie Gilbertson


9:00 am - 11:00 am
Saturday September 19, 2020
First Presbyterian Church
509 West Main St
Ellsworth WI, 54011

A private family service and burial will be held.

Beldenville Cemetery
790th Street (County Rd. J)
Beldenville WI, 54003

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Donald Eugene “Donnie” Gilbertson, age 91 of Ellsworth WI, died on Sunday, September 13, 2020. Don was born July 30, 1929 in Martell Township to parents Fred and Clara (Haberstich) Gilbertson. Donnie attended Morton Corner Country School and Ellsworth High School, before enlisting to serve his country in the United States Air Force. Donnie was united in marriage to Audrey Bloomstrand on January 26, 1952 at the First Presbyterian Church in Ellsworth. Their union in marriage was blessed with three children, two generations of grandchildren, and over 68 years of love and devotion.

Donnie farmed, and worked as a mechanic for years at the Ellsworth Farmers Union. He could fix almost anything, and was known to make difficult repairs, and modify trucks and tanks when the need arose. Outside of work, Donnie enjoyed playing euchre, and civil war history. Through the years, he enjoyed traveling with Audrey. Sweden, Taiwan, the Virgin Islands, and Alaska stand out as some of their most memorable destinations. Donnie had a special place in his heart for little children. He showed them kindness, and never hesitated to engage in conversation, tell a story, or make them feel special. It was a reflection of the love he had for his own family. Donnie was a true family man who cherished his loved ones, and bestowed compliments upon them by letting others know just how lucky he was. Donnie will be missed by all who knew and loved him well.

Don is survived by his loving wife of 68 years, Audrey; his daughters, Charlene (Charles Pace) Bystrom, and Judy (Michael) Strusz; grandchildren, Jesse Bystrom, Joel (Molly) Bystrom, Jonathan (Emma Hutter) Strusz, and Jenna (Luke) Fleming; ten great-grandchildren; brother, Harland (Donna) Gilbertson; sisters, Marlys Kroeze, and Marjorie Johnson; brother-in-law, Lorin (Deloris) Bloomstrand; as well as numerous nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends. Don was preceded in death by his parents; his son, James Gilbertson; his son-in-law, Larry Bystrom; great-grandson Caleb Bystrom; brother, Roger Gilbertson, and brother-in-law, Wendell (Polly) Bloomstrand.

To celebrate the life of Don Gilbertson, a visitation will be held from 9:00-11:00am on Saturday morning, September 19th for family and friends at the First Presbyterian Church, 519 W Main St. in Ellsworth WI. Social distancing and use of masks will be encouraged. A private family service and burial will follow. Donnie’s final place of rest will be at the Beldenville Cemetery. Memorials honoring Don may be directed to the Gideons, or the donor’s choosing. Funeral services have been entrusted to the O’Connell-Benedict Family Funeral Home of Ellsworth, WI. (715) 273-4421

Donnie's Tribute Wall

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  • I have to echo the “mischievous smile” quote from Carolyn. That was Donnie! We were so happy to have Donnie and Audrey come up for a couple of our 4th of July celebrations.

  • Donnie will be missed greatly by many, the kindness he had for everyone was a gift to others, always was a special pleasure to go visit my father at the farmers union and see Donnie,always had kind words and a smile of happiness Hugs and prayers to the family.

  • I will miss Donnie greatly. He was a one of a kind guy. Always smiling and telling jokes. He would walk into the American legion for cards with that little mischievous smile on his face. I’m so sorry for your loss and am sending prayers.

  • Donnie always had smile on his face whenever I saw him at church and have out hugs. Donnie loved helping with kids activities and was great serving at mother’s day brunch. I’ll miss you Donnie, but I know my dad Larry Butler and Paul and Cheryl welcomed you home!