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Obituary: Donald "Don" J. Tess

Apr 27, 2016 10:05AM ● Published by Jim

Donald "Don" J. Tess

Donald "Don" J. Tess, age 61 of Fox Lake, passed away on Tuesday, April 26, 2016 at home after a courageous battle with ALS. Don fought with great strength, dignity and integrity, never complained and was an inspiration to all.

Don was born on October 20, 1954 in Beaver Dam, the son of Eugene and Loretta (Wilmet) Tess. During his high school years, he enjoyed playing football, baseball and basketball. After graduating from Beaver Dam High School in 1972, Don pursued a bachelor's degree in accounting from UW-Oshkosh and earned his CPA license. He worked as an accountant at Badgerland Financial for 30 years. Don was united in marriage to Rachel Mathias on May 12, 2000 in New Orleans, LA. He enjoyed traveling to Jamaica, watching Badger football games, canning pickles and boating.

Don will be dearly missed by his wife, Rachel Tess of Fox Lake; his children, Christopher (Theresa) Cook of Fitchburg, Thomas (Amy) Cook of Beaver Dam, Col. Robert (Mary) Cook of North Dakota and Jillayne (John) Verich of Winneconne; grandchildren, Andrew (Kelli Basa), Aaron (Jackie), Noah, Mia and Nicole Cook, Jack, Francesca, Alex, Vivian, and Stella Verich; his siblings, Dan Tess of Beaver Dam, Dave Tess of Oakdale, MN and Mary (Randy) Krueger of Fitchburg; his beloved dog Josie; and many other relatives and friends.

Don was preceded in death by his parents and other relatives.

A memorial gathering for Don will be held on Monday, May 2, 2016 from 4:00 p.m. until the time of the memorial service at 7:00 p.m. at Cornerstone Funeral & Cremation Services, 135 Keller Blvd., Beaver Dam.

The family would like to extend a special thank you to all of the staff of Agnesian's Hospice Hope for their care and compassion, especially Debbie and Carrie.

Memorials in Don's name may be directed to Agnesian Hospice Hope ( or the ALS Association Wisconsin Chapter (

Cornerstone Funeral & Cremation Services in Beaver Dam is honored to be serving the family. You may send private online condolences or sign the family’s guest book at

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