Obit: Kearns, Donald E. (1937 - 2015)

Contact: Robert Lipprandt 

Surnames: Ashby, Castagno, Decker, Kearns, Love, Svatos

----Source: The Record - Review (Abbotsford, WI) 1/24/2015

Kearns, Donald E. (28 FEB 1937 - 16 JAN 2015)

Donald E. Kearns, 77, of Athens, passed away on Friday, Jan. 16, 2015, at his home under the care of his family and Aspirus Comfort Care and Hospice Services.

He was born February 28, 1937, in Huron, S.D., to the late Frank and Evelyn (Love) Kearns. During the Korean War, Don served in the U.S. Army, teaching cadets at the Great Lakes Academy in Sheridan, Ill. On August 4, 1956, Don married Ann Svatos in Berwyn, Ill. While raising their seven children, Don worked at Wausau Homes and later owned DK Service Center in Wausau until he retired in 1995. Don and Ann are members of Highland Community Church.

He enjoyed playing poker online with his brothers and had a great passion, empathy and deep respect for Native American history. He taught his children and grandchildren many things, including the importance of family values and unconditional love. Don will be remembered for always helping others in need and offering his heart and home without prejudice or judgment. He was a true “hero” to all who knew him.

Survivors include his wife, Ann, of Athens; seven children, Donald (Jenny) Kearns, Dennis (Shelley) Kearns, Constance (Mike) Decker, Daniel (Kim) Kearns, Catherine Kearns, Darry (Penny) Kearns and David Kearns; 19 grandchildren; nine great-grandchildren; one sister, Carol Ashby; and two brothers, Duane (Angie) Kearns and Dale Kearns.

Don was preceded in death by a brother, Sonny (Corky) Kearns; and a sister, Beverly Castagno.

A funeral service was held Wednesday, Jan. 21, at Highland Community Church, Wausau. Helke Funeral Home assisted the family. If you were unable to attend, you may sign our family guest book at



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