Donald Clifton Van Meter, 84
Funeral services for Donald Clifton Van Meter, 84, of Gainesville, will be held at 2 p.m. Friday, July 31, 2020, at Clinkingbeard Funeral Home in Gainesville. Visitation will be from noon until service time Friday at the funeral home. A Masonic service will immediately precede the funeral. Mr. Van Meter died July 25 at Select Specialty Hospital in Springfield.
He was born March 20, 1936, in Idaville, Indiana, one of eight children born to Merle and Mildred Guy Van Meter. He grew up in the meat business from a very early age, a family tradition. He owned and operated several meat processing plants, his last one being Van Meter Meats in Rice Lake, Wisconsin. He enjoyed meat cutting and specialized in making various smoked meats; it was his passion.
He was a very loving and caring man who enjoyed being with family and friends. He spent much of his time doing charity work. He loved people and cared about everyone around him. He loved telling jokes and always had a very positive attitude. He also loved hunting, fishing and gardening. In his younger days, he enjoyed motorcycle riding and flying airplanes.
In 1956, he married Donna Siek; from their marriage came three daughters. In 1971, he met and married Jean Nieman, who also had three children from a previous marriage. Together, they added one son. They considered themselves not simply a blended family, but more importantly, a blessed family. The couple spent nearly 50 years together raising their children and enjoying their grandchildren.
Mr. Van Meter was a Master Mason, a 32nd degree Scottish Rite Mason and a Shriner. He was also a member of York Rite, Eastern Star (past master), Royal Arch and Knights Templar. He was initiated in Blue Hills Lodge 234 in Rice Lake on May 21, 1964, passed to the degree of Fellowcraft then raised to Master Mason on Nov. 19, 1964. He later affiliated with Robert Burns Masonic Lodge 496 in Gainesville. He received his 50-year Masonic jewel on July 24, 2015.
He is survived by his wife, Jean Van Meter of the home in Gainesville; his children, Debbie Van Meter of Harrisonville, Darcy Van Meter and husband Jim Kujala of Spooner, Wisconsin, Denise Johnson of Chetek, Wisconsin, and Guy Van Meter of Gainesville; step-children Peggy Waltrip of Mountain Home, Arkansas, Kenneth Pickett of Gainesville, and Ed Pickett of Cameron, Wisconsin; 16 grandchildren; 22 great-grandchildren; and four siblings, Dorothy Woodward of Cumberland, Wisconsin, Ralph Van Meter of Shell Lake, Wisconsin, Carol Nesbit of Eau Claire, Wisconsin and Steve Van Meter of Springbook, Wisconsin.
He was preceded in death by his parents; three infant siblings; and one grandson, Ssgt. Tyler E. Pickett.
Arrangements by Clinkingbeard Funeral Home, Gainesville.