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Whitesitt Funeral Home
& Cremation Service

Family Owned & Operated Since 1902
314 Church St. | P.O. Box 12
Stevensville, Montana, 59870
Phone 406-777-5711 | Fax 406-777-0181
Email: whitesittfh@gmail.com

Donald B. "Don" Koeppen

Born: Thu., Jan. 26, 1922
Died: Wed., Jan. 16, 2019


Celebration of Life

3:00 PM Sat., Jan. 26, 2019
Location: Blacksmith Brewing Company


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STEVENSVILLE – Donald B. Koeppen, 96, of Stevensville passed away peacefully at home while resting in his easy chair on Wednesday, January 16, 2019. He was born January 26, 1922 in Walworth, Wisconsin, the youngest of four children born to William A. and Lunetta M. (Simonson) Koeppen. He was raised in Walworth and graduated from Walworth Public High School in 1939. While in school, he played many sports, earning numerous letters in football, basketball, and track. He was also an accomplished bowler and golfer. In late 1942, he joined the greatest generation serving in the Army Air Force as a pilot and flight instructor until the war ended in 1945. He had many stories of flying P-40 and P-39 fighters; the most interesting ones were when bomber crews practiced shooting at him when he piloted a target plane. He had the pleasure of joining his fellow veterans in 2013 on an honor flight to Washington, D.C. to visit the WWII memorial. Following the war he returned to Walworth and worked for two years as a plumber’s assistant before deciding to attend Whitewater State Teachers College in Whitewater, Wisconsin. While in school, he met his future wife, Grace E. Stiglbauer; they married in June, 1950. He began his career teaching high school before returning to join the faculty at Whitewater State College. He moved from there to Stevens Point State College and, while teaching there, earned his Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. In 1967, he accepted a position at the University of Montana and moved with his family to Missoula. He retired from the University in 1984 and enjoyed the retired life on forty acres near Stevensville. Don loved the outdoors and was an avid hunter, fisherman, horse packer, and snowmobiler. He especially enjoyed his fall hunting camps on Lena Lake in the Bob Marshall wilderness. Over the years, he and his horses made numerous pack trips with his friends and family across the wildernesses of Montana and Idaho. He is survived by his wife Grace of Stevensville; three sons, William of Stevensville, Michael (Lynn) of Florence, and David (Kay) of Eagle, Idaho; a daughter, Donna Paulsen (Rick) of Stevensville; six grandchildren; eight great-grandchildren; and numerous nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents and siblings. At his request, there will be no services. A celebration of life for family and friends will be held from 3-5 p.m. at the Blacksmith Brewery in Stevensville on Saturday, January 26, 2019, his 97th birthday. The family suggests that any memorials be made to the Bitter Root Humane Association, 262 Fairgrounds Road, Hamilton, MT 59840.

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Tom and Theresa Shepherd
   Posted Wed January 23, 2019
Grace and family, please accept our condolences. His was a life well lived; he made many contributions to the world and led by example. The world is a little less bright now that he is gone.

Sharon Mattix
   Posted Tue January 29, 2019
Donna, Grace and Family,

My prayers for peace in the loss of Don. I have very fond memories of classes with him in the late 70's. What a life he lead and what a mentor and educator he was for many. Your family was blessed.

Sharon Mattix

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