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Daniel Oelhafen

Daniel James Oelhafen, age 70, longtime resident of Granton Wisconsin passed away surrounded by love and family on Saturday October 30th. 

Dan was born on September 13, 1951 to James and Lila (Tieman) Oelhafen in West Bend, WI. He graduated in 1970 from Sussex-Hamilton High School in Sussex, Wisconsin and immediately enlisted in the army. He spent the majority of that time in Hawaii as a military vehicle driver, transporting officers to the Officer’s Club and getting into, let’s say, light mischief. After returning to Wisconsin, he worked at the AFW Foundry in Lannon, then with his parents at their tavern - utilizing his Army training by routinely pranking his friends, his family, and the public at large. 

He met the love of his life, Joanne, and they married March 9, 1985; seemingly ending his life of hijinks - he was now a family man with four young kids. But you can’t keep a good man down, and soon he was back to his old tricks—casually slipping bricks of firecrackers into bonfires, pretending to leave his wife at gas stations, etc—many times to the screaming horror/delight of his children. 

Over the 35 years he lived on his farm, he covered much of the land with trees, returning his farmland into something far more useful- hunting land, as well as creating a lasting legacy of conservation. Dan was an avid outdoorsman, a hunter and fisherman, who preferred the quiet company of nature... until he could get the animal into his sights. 

Dan was a lively storyteller-able to create amazing visuals that transported you to his youth, to some sort of shenanigans pulled on a friend on their wedding night, and most often, into a hunting trip with family and friends—complete with frighteningly accurate gun sounds. He spent more than 20 years as a long-haul truck driver, which certainly added to his storytelling repertoire - beginning at Roehl, moving to DeBoer, and finally retiring from Mark’s Transportation. He was a memory keeper, not prone to material possessions, but he loved to share stories of his adventures over coffee, often late into the night. 

Daniel is survived by his brothers Scott E. (Debra) Oelhafen of New Lenox, IL and Clinton R. (Amber) Oelhafen of Marathon, WI., his children: Sara (Jesse) Marsh, Stacy (Jamie) Petit, Nathan (Tiffany) Tytor, Valerie (Jeff) Deegan, nieces Lisa Oelhafen (Mike) and her son Blake, Lori (Pete) Nguyen and their children Parker and Grace, Macie L. Oelhafen, nephew Alexander J. Oelhafen, grandchildren Jayden and Katilynn Petit, and stepmother Marian (Jim) Oelhafen 

Dan was preceded in death by his parents Jim Oelhafen and Lila Oelhafen; as well as his beloved wife, Joanne.

Funeral service will be held Saturday, 11/13/21 at 11am Gesche Funeral Home in Neillsville, WI. with a visitation hour from 10-11am. Burial will be held after the funeral with a light lunch to follow at Speakeasy Saloon (W7652 US-10, Neillsville.)

Online Condolences may be made at www.geschefh.com

Gesche Funeral Home and Cremation Service is assisting Daniel’s family with Funeral arrangements.


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