Donald H. Mell

PORTAGE – Donald H. Mell, age 93 of Portage, passed away on Sunday, February 2, 2020, at the Wm. S. Middleton Memorial Veteran’s Hospital in Madison. 

Don was born at home, in Manilla, Iowa on February 6, 1926 to his mother, Lillian Mell. He served his country as a Private 1st Class in the United States Army. He was a survivor of the Battle of the Bulge. Don was a 64 year member of the American Legion, a 39 year member of the VFW and a member of the 40/8. He was very active in many capacities and was very proud of his military career. Don and his son, Doug were honored to go on the Badger Honor Flight on October 31, 2016. 

He was a very hard working heavy equipment operator with the Milwaukee Railroad/Soo Line for more than 40 years. In addition, he worked 7 years at Badger Ordnance in Baraboo. Don worked part-time at Samuels Recycling and as a bartender for many restaurants during his working days. He loved to go to Ho Chunk Gaming in Wisconsin Dells, to visit with friends, playing cards, fishing, traveling and definitely loved spending time with his family.        

He is survived by his wife, Ruth Mell, of Portage; his children, Douglas (Sue Kittelson) Mell, of Eau Claire, Mary Ann (Gerald) Schneiter, of Portage and Marcia (Larry) Budde, of Portage; his grandchildren, Dione Schumann (Gino Reimann), of Portage, Jonathan (Andrea) Schneiter, of Portage, Jacob Budde (Jena LaVigne), of North Freedom, David Mell and Daniel Mell, both of Eau Claire; his great-grandchildren, Coltan Myers, Ashley, Lylah and Kennedy Schneiter, all of Portage; his step-children, Faye Hart, of Packwaukee, Judy (Ron) Sornson, of Florida, Wayne (Karen) Talley, of Baraboo, Phyllis Grossmann, of Portage, Brenda (Dennis) Miller, of Ripon. Barry Talley (Judy Kranz), of Ripon, Georgia (Terry) Boehlke, of Lake Delton and Tim (Becky) Talley, of Montello; 45 step-grandchildren and 20 step-great-grandchildren; his sister-in-law, Rose Schehr (Lyle Weiss), many nieces and nephews from Iowa, extended nieces and nephews and many friends. He was preceded in death by his parents, his son, David Mell in infancy, his wife, Dolores “Dolly” Mell, his brother, Leo Mell and his sister, Marjorie Clouse.

We would also like to remember in a special way, Jim and Anita McNamara, who honored Don at the Highground Veteran’s Memorial Park in Neillsville in July of 2016. Don considered Jim as a second son. As well as close friends, Ron and Sandy Genrick and the McNamara and Genrick families.    

Funeral Services will be held at 11:00 a.m., on Monday, February 17, 2020, at St. John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church in Portage, with Rev. Greg Hovland officiating. Burial will follow in Oak Grove Cemetery, with Military Honors by Portage Area Veterans Honor Guard. Visitation will be held from 1:00 p.m. until 5:00 p.m., on Sunday, February 16, 2020, at the Pflanz Mantey Mendrala Funeral Home in Portage and on Monday from 10:00 a.m. until 11:00 a.m. at the church.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorials may be made to the VFW, St. John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church, Columbia Healthcare Center or another charity of your choice. 

Don will always be remembered for his great sense of humor, his witty and comical jokes. No matter who he talked to, he always had a great story that made people laugh. He was the best spouse, father, step-father, grandfather, and great-grandfather anyone could ever ask for. Rest in Peace. We salute you.





For information please call 608 742-2126 (Portage, WI) or 608 635-2763 (Poynette, WI)