Donald Denk

Donald L. Denk, 74, of Waukon died Tuesday, September 1, 2020 at Veterans Memorial Hospital in Waukon. Funeral services were held Friday, September 4 at St. Patrick Catholic Church in Waukon with Fr. John Moser officiating. Burial was at Mt. Olivet Cemetery, Waukon. Condolences may be sent to Dan Denk at 504 Third Street NE, Waukon, IA 52172.

Donald LeRoy Denk was born September 14, 1945 in Marshfield, WI, the son of Virgil and Geraldine (Smith) Denk. He was baptized in Marshfield, WI, confirmed in Alma Center, WI and graduated from Decorah High School in 1963.

September 25, 1965, he married Gayla Lynn Olson at St. Benedict’s Catholic Church in Decorah. Don worked in sales for over 30 years and for Cabela’s in Prairie du Chien, WI for 10 years before retiring in 2008.

He was a member of St. Patrick Catholic Church in Waukon. Don looked forward to going to the S & D Café every morning with the 9 o’clock coffee group. He had a passion for fishing and took his annual fishing trip to Chetek, WI for the last 35 years. Don enjoyed going to stockcar races and cheering on the Iowa Hawkeyes, taking every opportunity he could to watch the football and basketball in person. When he was younger, he learned to play the trumpet and played in the “4Ds” with his dad, brother Bob, and a good family friend. The band was well known for its polka music, which was enjoyed by many.

Don had an outgoing personality, witty sense of humor, and an infectious smile that would light up the room. He was an amazing cook and could brew up the best batch of root beer schnapps that you ever had; no matter what the occasion, Don’s schnapps was always requested. Most of all, he loved and cherished his time with his children and their families. Don will be deeply missed by everyone.

Survivors include his children: Tammy (Andy) Avery of Cedar Rapids, Jill (Roy) Reyes of Cresco, Sandra (Randy) Koshatka of Cedar Rapids, and Danny Denk and Nicole (Dan) Willis, both of Waukon; six grandchildren: Bryce, Nathan, Chelsey, Addison, Dawson and Austin; two great-grandchildren: Bentley and Brylee; two brothers: Bob Denk of Decorah and Rick Denk of Farwell, MN; and a sister. Judy (Gary) Hovden of Ridgeway.

He is preceded in death by his parents; his wife, Gayla, who died in 1999; and a granddaughter, Courtney Reyes.

Honorary casketbearers were his 9 o’clock S&D coffee group and Sandy Halverson. Casketbearers were Bryce Peterson, Nathan Avery, Dawson and Addison Koshatka, and Austin Reyes.

Online condolences may be left at

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