Donald “Don” William Soderberg, 80 of Stevens Point, died November 21, 2019, surrounded by the deepest love of his family and his wife by his side.
Don was born on January 26, 1939, in Thorp, Wis. He was the son of the late Arthur (Pat) and Eileen (Hayes) Soderberg. He graduated from Thorp High School in 1957, then earned his bachelor’s degree from UW-Lacrosse in 1961 and his master’s degree from Northern Illinois University in 1965.
Don married his childhood neighbor and high school sweetheart, the former Kathy Badzinski, on August 12, 1961, at St. Bernard Catholic Church in Thorp. The couple moved to the Stevens Point area in 1971. They recently celebrated their 58th wedding anniversary.
Don had a very successful career in teaching, coaching, and administration. His coaching career included stops at John Muir Middle School (Wausau), Auburndale High School, Marshfield Columbus High School, and his final stay at Stevens Point Pacelli High School, where he coached from 1971 until retiring in 1997.
Don was known as a fierce competitor whose teams always displayed discipline, toughness, preparedness, attention to detail, and excellence. He had the pleasure of coaching all four of his sons in football, and two of them in basketball as well. Don is one of only a handful of coaches in both the Wisconsin Basketball Coaches Association Hall of Fame and the Wisconsin Football Coaches Association Hall of Fame. Three of his four sons and one grandson have followed in his coaching footsteps.
After retirement, Don most enjoyed time with his family, attending as many of his grandchildren’s activities as he could, as well as following any team his sons or grandson coached. Don took a personal interest in each grandchild and could not have been prouder of the young people they have become. Don and his wife Kathy raised a family (children, spouses, and grandchildren) who truly enjoy spending time together.
To his family, Don’s legacy is marked by his unwavering commitment to his family, his intense loyalty to those he loved, his compassion and empathy for those struggling with life’s challenges, and his generosity.
In lieu of flowers, a memorial will be established in Don’s honor.
Don is survived by his wife of 58 years, Kathy; his children; Brad (Linda) of Crozet, VA; Jeff (Terri) of Custer, WI; Lisa (Jim) Collins of Dubuque, Iowa; Kurt (Paula) of Hammond, Wis.; Scott, of Stevens Point; Beth (Jeff) Chandonais of Stevens Point; and Megan, of Xenia, Ohio.
He is also survived by 20 grandchildren: Kramer (Andrea) Soderberg, Daley (Ryan) Iffrig, Davis Soderberg; Sam (Sarah) Soderberg, Max Soderberg, Eric Soderberg; Jimmy Collins, Shannon (Sam) Koenig, Erin Collins, Megan Collins, Craig Collins, Riley Collins; Kennedy Soderberg, Will Soderberg, Griffin Soderberg; Mitchell Soderberg, Elizabeth Soderberg; Brock Chandonais, Grant Chandonais, Trent Chandonais; three great-grandchildren (and the fourth on the way); siblings Carol Stewart, of Plover, and Bill (Susan) Soderberg of Germantown, MD.
Don was preceded in death by his parents.
A special thank you to Aspirus Wausau, and especially Melanie and Dr. Wild, for providing the utmost loving-care and dignity to Don during his final days and hours.
Family and friends may call on Sunday, November 24, from 3-6 p.m. at Pisarski Funeral Home in Stevens Point (there will be a rosary prayed at 6 p.m.), and on Monday, November 25, from 9-10:15 a.m. at Holy Spirit Parish (formerly St. Stanislaus Parish) in Stevens Point. Mass of Christian Burial will immediately follow, beginning at 10:30 A.M., at Holy Spirit Parish on Monday, November 25, Rev. Steve Brice officiating. (Burial will be at St. Bernard/ St. Hedwig Parish Cemetery in Thorp at a later date.)
The Pisarski Funeral Home is honored to be serving the family. Online condolences may be sent by visiting www.pisarskifuneralhome.com.