We are deeply sorry for your loss - the staff at Zabel Funeral Home
Donald Mac Willson, of Chatham, Michigan, left this earth to be with Our Lord on the morning of January 4, 2022, at Schneck Medical Center with his family by his side. He was 77 years old.
Don entered this life on September 19, 1944, in Central Lake, Michigan, He was one of nine children born to the loving parents of Clifton and Phyllis (MacDonald) Willson. Don was a football and baseball standout for the East Jordan High School Red Devils and often spoke fondly of those days playing sports with his hometown best friends.
On January 9, 1965, he was united in marriage to Margaret Elaine (Smith) Willson. This union was blessed with three children, Robin, Sue and Donnie, all of whom Don was the most proud and grateful.
Don served his community as a Police Officer in Gaylord, Michigan, before starting a career in sales, where he worked as a salesman and manager for the Shrader Tire Company and then Best One Tire, living and working in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula and in Brownstown, Indiana. Don and Marge later became the owners and operators of the Rumely Grocery in Rumley, Michigan, where Don enjoyed mingling with the local residents and the tourists of that beautiful part of the country. And up until this year, Don sold real estate in Michigan, having worked for ReMax in Munising, Michigan and most recently with Northern Michigan Land Brokers in Marquette.
Don was a devoted husband, loving father and Grandpa. He enjoyed making friends wherever he was. He loved playing golf, hunting (especially with his son and grandchildren), spending time at camp, having breakfast with the crew at the Snack Bar, listening to Christian Music, visiting his family and going with Marge to their grandchildren’s sporting events. He also like to mention to his grandsons that they needed to average more than 10.3 yards per carry to beat “Grampa’s record.” He even continued his loyalty to the Detroit Lions though all of the years!
Surviving to cherish his memories, his wife of 57 years, Margaret, his children Robin Wheeler and her husband Russ of Brownstown, Sue Popp and her husband Rick of Florence, WI, and Donnie Willson and his wife Patty of Munising, MI, and five grandchildren: Sam and Isaiah Popp, and Erin, Symon, and Sophia Willson, who loved spending time with their grandpa.
He was preceded in death by his parents, sister Arlene Hammond, and the Willson brothers, Durwood, Bud, Burton, Clifton, Jr., Paul, Wayne, and Kenny.
Don’s services will be held at Mortensen Funeral Home in Central Lake, Michigan on Monday, January 10th with viewing starting at 10:00 am and the funeral ceremony at 11:00 am.
Don will be laid to rest at Pleasant Valley Michigan in the Densmore Cemetery with a small family ceremony following the funeral.
All local arrangements have been entrusted with Zabel Funeral Home of Brownstown.
Memorials may be written in Don’s name to the Munising Baptist Church (www.munisingbaptistchurch.com) or through Zabel Funeral Home.
A Sincere Thank You to everybody for the outpouring of love, condolences, and prayers for Don and the family. We have been greatly blessed to have had Don in our lives. -The Willson Family