Daniel T. Witman Sr., (Dufer), died peacefully July 5 at home after a hard fought two year battle with lung cancer. Although Dan died at 50 years, he felt that life could be broken up into thirds ~ although he only lived two thirds of his life, he was happy to live through the best two thirds.
Dufer was born on December 1, 1959 to the late John and Helen (Arrowood) Witman. He was fortunate to be a lifetime Pickerel resident where friends became family. He appreciated the community support with his first bout of cancer and his last.
He attended Lily Elementary and graduated from Antigo High School in 1978. On February 23, 1979 he and Debra Clark were united in marriage. He was her best friend for over 31 years.
He was a very proud father to his three children: Daniel (Mandi) Witman Jr. of Antigo; Jarrod (Desiree) Brown of Wisconsin Rapids and April Jane Witman of Pickerel. He was the best "Poppa Boss" to his grandchildren, Aidan Brown and Jacob Walker, of Wisconsin Rapids. His legacy will live on through his children and grandchildren.
Dufer owned and operated in partnership with his parents and brother Dave a large dairy farm until his diagnosis with a rare form of bone cancer in 1996. He enjoyed a 12 year respite from his first cancer until his diagnosis of lung cancer in 2008. After beating his first cancer, Dufer realigned his priorities to his family, shifting from the demanding life of dairy farming to raising Angus Beef cattle and managing his wood land. He loved his land and fields and was a steward of it.
Dufer was also a self-taught on-line investor with a keen understanding of stocks, bonds, and commodities. The stock market channel was always on his television and he utilized the internet to keep him up to date on the latest news of the market to aid him in successfully managing his stock portfolio. He also received his Real Estate Broker license and completed his training as an Emergency Medical Technician.
Dufer was known for his bright mind, quick wit, and keen recall of Pickerel's history and events. He enjoyed a good party; socializing with his many friends at the local pubs was one of his favorite past times. Dan's many hobbies included watching and playing softball, ice fishing with his friends, and gardening the usual vegetables, as well as exotic plants.
Dan was baptized, received his first communion, and attended confirmation classes at St. Mary's Catholic Church in Pickerel. He had a strong faith and did his worshiping on a tractor in the hills and hollows on the land that he loved and believed to be special.
Dan will be sadly missed by his siblings; Linda Mason of Minnetonka, MN; David (Donna) Witman of Lily, Dr. Jane (Dr. Peter Fisher) Witman of DePere, and Dr. Patty (Dr. Richard Gumina) Witman of Powell, OH. He will also be missed by his wife's family, many nieces and nephews, and his best buddy since the sixth grade, Rob Aderholdt.
In the week before his death Dufer saw his father coming to bring him home and now he joins his parents, brother John, and nephew Damian Witman who preceded him in death.
Services will be held on Friday at 10:00 a.m. at the Bradley Funeral Home with Rev. Omer Kelley officiating. Burial will take place in St. Mary Catholic Cemetery, Pickerel. Visitation is scheduled for Thursday from 3:30 - 8:00 p.m. and on Friday from 9:00 a.m. until the time of services all at the funeral home.
Dan deeply believed in cancer research and per his wishes a memorial will be established in his memory at St. Jude's Cancer Research Hospital in lieu of flowers. Memorials may be dropped at the funeral home.
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