Albert Charles “Bert” Daun, 98, died peacefully Christmas evening sitting in his electric wheelchair, fulfilling his wish to die in the house he was born in and lived his entire life, except when in the Army.
He was the last of that Daun generation. Bert was born July 9, 1923 to John and Susanna Daun. After attending St. Charles Grade School, he started his working career until he was drafted in 1944. He served overseas in the Pacific Theater until his dad died in 1945. At that time he was discharged to return home to farm for the war effort. His mother had already sold the cows by the time he had journeyed home. He then bought eight cows to start his farming career. On May 23, 1946 he married Esther Nett; they were married 71 years until her death in 2018.
While farming, Bert worked many part-time jobs as a welder, plumber, mechanic, trucker, mason, carpenter and who knows what else. Because of the skills he learned he became the neighborhood “go to” guy for fixing and welding tractors and machinery, and helping build garages and homes and flat work. Bert was very frugal (tight). He spent many a winter’s day building or rebuilding whatever machinery he needed—flat racks, bale thrower racks, even running gears and much more. He also helped rebuild every barn that burned in the Charlesburg area and beyond.
Bert never played cards but he did play checkers early on until Esther quit playing because he cheated. His spare time was spent hunting, ice fishing, trap shooting and drinking with the neighborhood gang of Buechels and Broeckels, and not always legal activities. Those were great times!
About the time he finally sold the last milk cow he accidentally started working for Schmidt Auction Service, working too many hours and days, getting paid way too little, if at all. He worked until he was about 80 years old until health issues forced him to quit.
Bert was big into old tractors, machinery and tools, being a member of area clubs and attending and showing at shows all through Wisconsin. Towards the end he was mostly interested in old garden tractors and equipment, mostly Ariens and other oddball brands.
Bert could not sit still, so when nothing else had to be done he made lawn ornaments out of scrap iron or made wood bowls, lamps, wood shovels, or forks, or ornaments. Everything Bert did was 100 percent good or half-ass, not much in between. In his recent years his main enjoyment was clipping lawn, keeping his farmstead pristine, riding his Gator, and enjoying visits with his good friend, Al, of Sheboygan, a special man in his own right.
Bert’s survivors include his daughter, JoAnn (Ray) Mueller; son Mark (Carol) Daun; grandchildren Jesse Daun, Jeff (Heather) Mueller, Sherry Daun (special friend Michael), Derek (Katharyn) Daun and Kyle Mueller; great-grandchildren Wellington, Lilac and Sierra; and many nieces, nephews, friends and neighbors.
Bert was preceded in death by his wife, Esther; parents John and Susanna; brothers Otto (Alma) and Herman (Erma); sisters Sr. Erna and Sr. Jann; brother-in-law Robert (Martha) Nett; and sister-in-law Donna (Lester) Heimermann.
A big, special thanks to Larry for his many, many visits watching women’s wrestling with Bert; Cindy for working hard to keep Bert in his home; Betty for covering the night shift here; good neighbor Richard for countless visits and keeping an eye on things from across the field; and Gordy for clearing the snow from the driveway and yard. Bert thanks you for your efforts to keep him on the farm.
A Mass of Christian Burial is scheduled for 10:45 a.m. on Friday, Dec. 31 at Holy Rosary Catholic Church, 1724 Madison St. in New Holstein. Friends may call from 9:30 a.m. until 10:45 a.m. at the church on the day of service. A committal service will be held at 3 p.m. at Ledgeview Mausoleum, N6250 CTH K, Fond du Lac on Friday, Dec. 31.
In lieu of flowers, a memorial fund has been established in the name of Albert Daun. Cards and memorials can be sent to Wieting Family Funeral Home, ℅ Albert Daun, 411 W. Main St., Chilton, WI 53014.