Cover photo for Donald R. Yeager's Obituary
Donald R. Yeager Profile Photo

Donald R. Yeager

February 5, 1927 — September 18, 2023

Chippewa Falls

Donald R. Yeager

Pickles, pickles, pickles! What do you think of when you hear pickles?!  Some think baby dills, or maybe those tasty bread and butters? Well, if you knew my Dad, you might be thinking of him! If you saw Don and hollered "Pickles!" He would turn around with a grin and probably tell you a joke about a pickle slicer or ask you where you were from. Then ask you if you knew this person or that somebody from there. He knew a lot of people from all over.  He could connect you to someone if you chatted long enough! And chat he did!

I remember traveling with him as a young boy, all over Wisconsin in the spring, selling pickle seeds to farmers, 1/4 acre or 2 acres, whatever he could get you to commit to. He would rent out the planters. Then, later rent the picking carts for harvest. Dad also had me sell to the neighbors - door to door, bushels of slicers "2 for a nickel or 3 for a dime!"

Initially, the cucumbers, or cukes, as he called them were brined in 12-foot vats right below the NSP bridge here in Chippewa. Don also oversaw the operations from Fairchild to Caryville and Durand to New Auburn.

My Dad was always involved with us kids. Always one of the leaders in Scout Troop 109. He was a chaperone at most summer and winter camps. He was my ground foreman when we roofed 45 roofs together. And of course, the Pickle Boss when I ran the pickle sorter and scale all those summers at the pickle factory.

It wasn't until I was in Jr High school that the fresh-pack pickle process took its toll on my Dad's 24 years in the pickle business.  He turned down a career move to Michigan to keep my older brother and sister in CF High School. He took a job with Soo Line Railroad here and most everyone still called him "Pickles" on the tracks.

Even in his final weeks the staff would write "Mr. Pickles" on the board and call him that as he responded with a faded grin. I call him Dad. But in the end, I told him "Well, Mr. Pickles- you got yourself in quite a pickle this time!"

We all will "relish" our own memories of my Dad, "Mr. Pickles", aka Donald Yeager.  -Memories by son, Brian

Our grandfather was a man of God and a quiet mentor. Growing up he was always there to “supervise” and help us with life lessons. As we all grew older, he continued to mentor all of us grandchildren in some way, although at times he may have been “hard” on us, he was always acting from a position of love.  He showed the importance of loving one another and taking care of each other not just by his actions with us, but also in the way he treated others. He loved people and enjoyed being the light, no matter how small, in people’s lives.  One thing he always said was true about life is that while some things may look good, they can always become bleak, and while things may seem bleak, they can always get better.  Even when going through a bad time, it is important to always give the best to the world because what you put out will eventually come back to you, and life is about what you give, and not what you can get.

As he got older and family seemed to get further away, he was always curious about how all of us were doing, and always wanted the best for everyone in the family, even if he didn’t agree with individual actions.  Looking back at our time with him, this was his outlook on nearly every person he interacted with, and because of that he molded a little bit of himself in anyone who was open to growth.  - Memories by grandson, Chad

In Don’s younger years he was a semi-professional musician and singer. His love for music and dancing continued throughout his life, both locally and even on trips. Whenever and wherever, there was music, Don would stop to listen, enjoy and sometimes even dance.

Don loved traveling. In 2019, he spent 2 ½ months and 12,000 miles zigzagging down the beautiful East Coast, from Maine to Florida, then returned home to Wisconsin through the Ozark Mountains and the Midwest. This trip brought back wonderful memories of his and Yvonne’s many travels and adventures together.

Don was always “THE LORD’S SERVANT” in his words and actions. Don's last trip with me was shorter, only 2 weeks and not so many miles.  Even so, this particular trip was very important to Don. Summer of 2021, Hurricane Ida left Louisiana devastated – a mission trip was in order. At Don’s suggestion, there was an appeal for help and our Chippewa Falls Community responded very quickly and generously. Don loaded his motorhome with cleaning supplies, cases of drinking water, snacks, lots of diapers and departed for New Orleans to share these gifts with those in need. It was a very fulfilling trip for Don, and he was so happy he was able to be of help.

Don never missed an opportunity to spend time with family, friends, and strangers, whether dining out, having BBQ’s, traveling, church functions, or just sitting and talking because Don was so curious and interested in everything and everyone and was so outgoing. One of his greatest joys in life was to share his thoughts, knowledge, and laughter generously with all who crossed his path each day. Even strangers quickly became his new friends.

Don has made his final trip “HOME” to be reunited with his “Lord”. Don was a blessing to all and will be greatly missed. - Memories by friend and traveling companion, Mary.

Donald R. Yeager, 96, of Chippewa Falls, passed away on Monday, September 18, 2023, surrounded by family at Mayo Clinic Health System – Eau Claire.

He was born February 5, 1927, on the family farm in Sheldon, WI to Peter and Helen (Berchem) Yeager.

Don graduated from Tony High School in 1945.  Then joined in Holy Matrimony on May 7, 1953 to Yvonne (Bradley)Webster, the love of his life.

Don is survived by his son, Brian Yeager of Mosinee, WI; eight beloved grandchildren; nine cherished great-grandchildren; brother, Harold (Fran) Yeager of Deltona, FL; sister, Dorothy Johnson of Gurnee, IL; and many nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents; wife of 64 years, Vonnie, in 2017; daughter, Brenda Yeager in 1981; son, Bradley Yeager in 1997; and siblings, Floyd Yeager, Gertrude Perkovich, Dale Yeager, Beatrice Yeager, and Billy Yeager.

Visitation will be held at 10 a.m., Saturday, October 7 at Landmark Christian Church, Village of Lake Hallie.  A celebration of life service will follow at 11 a.m. with Pastor Brad Crocker officiating.

Private interment will be held at a later date at Forest Hill Cemetery, Chippewa Falls.

In lieu of flowers, memorials are preferred to Landmark Christian Church or Hope Village Chippewa Falls.

Pederson-Volker Funeral Chapel & Cremation Services, Chippewa Falls is serving the family. Please share your memories and condolences online at pedersonvolker.com

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Visitation

Saturday, October 7, 2023

10:00 - 11:00 am (Central time)

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Funeral Service

Saturday, October 7, 2023

Starts at 11:00 am (Central time)

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