Donald W Farver
TOMAH, Wis. — Donald William Farver passed away peacefully in his sleep on May 20th, 2020, in his home in Tomah, WI at the age of 90.
Don was born in Ashton, IL on January 24th, 1930 to Wraye and Viola (Herbert) Farver and was the youngest of five children. The family moved to Harvard, IL, where Don attended and graduated from high school in 1949. During his time as a Harvard Hornet, Don exceled in sports, lettering in football, basketball, and track.
Upon graduation, Don entered the family business, truck driving, with his father and two older brothers, Earl and Robert. That same year Don enlisted into the U. S. Navy Reserve as an Aviation Electronics Technician, radioman. He always talked about the Morse code and how little he cared for flying in the Navy planes. He completed 12 years in the Reserve and received his Honorable Discharge October 3rd 1961.
Don had many hobbies, one of which was stock car racing. Togethe rwith his friend Cork Alcott, they formed a racing team with Cork driving and Don running the pits, competing at various tracks in northern Illinois. Don’s time at the track sended quite luckily, not in racing but in love. It was there that he met the love of his life, Helen M. Fringer.
They met, fell in love, and were married on June 26th; 1954.In 1955, the Farver Trucking Company moved its base of operations to Mauston, WI, the halfway point between Chicago and The Twin Cities. All was good in Mauston, but something was missing. On August 14th, 1956 that something came to be in the form of their daughter, Donna Marie. Two years later, on August 6th, 1958 their son, David James, was born.
More changes were to come as they started a chinchilla business that required more space. Don moved the family to the country on Highway 82East, a mile past Woodside Ranch. The chinchilla business expanded into a hog operation and, before you knew it, Don was a full-time truck driver and part time farmer. This continued until David decided to go into the Army in 1984, so the animals were sold off and Don continued to drive truck until her retired in 1992.
With newfound time on their hands, Don and Helen found many things to keep them busy. Helen had started a pig collection from a small porcelain set that Don had brought home from one of his runs. Over the years the pig herd grew to around 4,000 pigs of every shape and style decorating their country home. With Don, he reverted to his childhood and filled the basement with train layouts. He had all the different gauges, but his favorite was the Lionel O27. Helen would spoil him with every accessory imaginable from carnival rides to a turntable that could handle ten locomotives. Don also restored four vintage semis, two 1939 Fords, a 1941 Ford and a 1946 White. He took those hunks of rust that he found and over time and much love he transformed them into a shiny fleet of trucks. He would take them to the local fairs, the Steam & Power show, and any other gatherings that his fellow enthusiasts would attend.
By now three grandchildren had arrived, Matthew, David Jr and Nicole. This allowed Helen to be the doting grandma and Don the chance to be the spoiling grandpa when the family visited. Don & Helen became friends with the Dickensens who owned The Wisconsin Opry in the Dells. They helped out down at the shows and became good friends with the customers as well as the country stars who played there. They accompanied the Dickensens to Nashville on multiple occasions and got to be up close and personal with the Nashville music stars, a highlight for any country fan.
All was going fine until the fall of 1996, when Helen was diagnosed with cancer. After a short battle Helen passed away on April 10th 1997. Life on the farm was never quite the same but Don kept busy with his trucks, trains, and maintaining Helen’s pig collection. He did find some relief in sports, cheering the Wisconsin teams onto victory. He was blessed to see his teams reach lofty achievements: Super Bowl victories, Rose Bowl wins, Final Four appearances, and many exciting games. He stayed on his farm until July 2017 when he was hospitalized with a case of congested heart failure. After his discharge from the hospital he moved up to Tomah to live with David and his family so they could keep a better eye on him, where he remained until his passing.
Donald is preceded in death by his loving wife Helen, his parents Wraye & Viola, his sister Mary (infant) brothers Earl, Harold (infant) and Robert.
He is survived by his children Donna (Don) Fasel and David (Sonja) Farver. Grandchildren Matthew, Deejay, Nicole and Zachary.
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