Donald G. McCloskey
Donald G. McCloskey, age 88, passed away on Thursday, May 15, 2014, at Agrace HospiceCare from cancer. He was born March 7, 1926, in Prairie du Chien, WI, the son of Helen M. (Gunderson) and Clement E. McCloskey. Don married Irene W. (Hill) on April 10, 1950, and they shared 52 love-filled years until Irene’s death in September, 2002.
Don enlisted in the Army in 1943. He trained and then served in the WWII US Army Occupation in Germany until 1946, served in Army reserves until recalled to active duty in US Army Field Artillery in Korean campaign, 1950-51, and held many positions in US Army Reserves Infantry, Artillery and training units from 1954-1979. Don retired from the US Army as Commandant of the 5045th Wisconsin USAR school with the rank of Colonel. US Army awards include: Legion of Merit, the highest military award given in times of peace, the Bronze Star, and other medals and citations.
Don attended the University of Wisconsin – Madison and obtained his Bachelor of Science degree in education in 1950 and his Masters of Science degree in Education-Mathematics in 1955. He taught for 34 years at West High School in Madison, WI, from 1953-1987. While teaching at West, Don served as chairman of the math department 1956-1984, chaired two North Central Association Evaluations and was the West High faculty representative when President Ronald Reagan presented West High with the National Excellence in Education award in Washington, D.C. He was the successful and beloved coach of West High School math teams, ‘Oinks’ and ‘Piglets’ who won multiple city, area and state competitions. His teaching career included service as president of Madison Teachers Inc. and later active involvement in Madison Area Retired Teachers Inc.
Don was a charter member of Good Shepherd Lutheran church, founded in 1958 and proudly served his church community in many ways. He directed the senior choir for many years, printed weekly church service materials, provided assistance to elders at Oakwood Lutheran Home, sang in the senior choir, alleluia choir, rang in the bell choir, mowed the lawn, taught confirmation, and volunteered many other ways for his Church.
In 1965 Don and his family moved to Maiduguri, Nigeria, for two years, where he taught young Nigerian men to be teachers ‘out in the bush villages’ at a teacher training college. He brought home souvenirs and stories which he enthusiastically shared with many groups, family, school, church and others.
Always a teacher, Don taught his daughters and grandchildren to always be respectful, and encouraged them to try new activities and explore new interests. He and Irene loved to travel with family and friends. Musky fishing and camping some favorite passions. Music participation was also a big part of Don’s life and he was a member of the Zor Shrine concert band and the Oak Men Performance choir.
Don is survived by his daughters Linda (Mark) Harring of Oregon, WI, and Lore DeSerre of DeForest, WI; adored grandchildren Katie (Adam) Cartwright, Verona, WI; Scott (Kristen) Harring, Durham, NC; Kristin (Tom) Echtermeyer, Arvada, CO; Michael Harring, Lakewood CO and step-grandson, David DeSerre, Jr, Baraboo, WI; twin great grandsons Jacob Forester Cartwright and Caleb Fisher Cartwright of Verona, WI; sister Janet (E Charles) Thulin, Cedar Rapids, IA; in-laws Madonna and Don Wachter, Prairie du Chien, WI and Jeanette Hill of LaCrosse, WI, and nieces and nephews in WI and IA. Don was preceded in death by his wife Irene (Hill), Parents Helen and Clem McCloskey, in-laws Lee and Cindy Hill, Mary Hill and Don Hill and many aunts and uncles.
Visitation will be held at Cress Funeral Home, 3610 Speedway Road, Madison, on Monday, May 19 from 4-7 pm. Funeral services will be held at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, 5701 Raymond Road, Madison, on Tuesday May 20, at 11 am. A visitation will be held at the church prior to the memorial service at 10 am.
If desired, memorials are suggested to Agrace HospiceCare or charity of your choice in memory of Don.
If we all said a prayer for each other every day, what a wonderful world this would be. I would ask God to bless you and keep you in his care knowing you’d say the same prayer for me.
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