Donald D. Kortbein

Donald D. Kortbein, age 84, of Tomah, Wisconsin, passed away Wednesday, February 12, 2020, at the Serenity House in Tomah.


Donald D. Kortbein, age 84, of Tomah, Wisconsin, passed away Wednesday, February 12, 2020, at the Serenity House in Tomah.

Donald was born on the family farm on March 27, 1935 to William and Elvira (Ludeking) Kortbein. He attended Hillcrest Grade School and graduated from Tomah High School in 1952. He began his banking career right after high school graduation as a teller at the Farmers & Merchants Bank in Tomah and completed his schooling through the UW Madison Graduate School of Banking while working, and retired after a 48 year career as CEO and President in 2000. During those years he served on many local and state banking organizations and committees. He was very community minded, serving on the Monroe County Ag Society for nearly 60 years – 40 years as Treasurer, and as Co-chairman of the Super National Tractor Pull. In 2010 he was inducted into the Wisconsin Association of Fairs Hall of Fame. He served on the Tomah Chamber of Commerce as a board member and President, received the Chamber’s Community Service Award and its Distinguished Service Award, and the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Tomah Convention and Visitors Bureau. He was also recognized by the Tomah Lions for his contributions and service to the agricultural community. He served on the Handishop Board of Directors and as President. He has been on the Hospital Board of Directors and Hospital Foundation Board. He has also served on the Tomah Recreation Park Board and Oak Grove Cemetery Board.

Don married Evelyn (LaFlash) on September 21, 1957. They have one daughter, Suzanne, of Warrens; a son, Tim (Joan), of Warrens; and two grandsons, Matthew and Mark of Warrens. He was a member of St. Matthew Lutheran Church of Warrens where Don worked tirelessly to get the new church built and served on the church council. He was a devoted and loving husband, dad and grandpa. Don loved living on their farm and enjoyed all aspects of planting and harvesting crops. His greatest joy was seeing his son and grandsons get involved in the Tomah Tractor Pull, and share his love for agriculture by continuing to operate their family farm.

He is preceded in death by his parents; infant daughter Jennifer; brother Robert; sister-in-law Charlene Kortbein, one infant brother; sisters-in-law Rita Gipp and Ree Cantrell; brothers-in-law Darrell Downing, Bob Cantrell and Mike Gipp.

He is survived by his loving wife Evelyn, daughter Suzanne, son Tim, daughter-in-law Joan, grandsons Matthew and Mark, nephew Greg Kortbein of Wilton, niece Cynthia (Rick) Erdman of Tomah, sister-in-law Judi Downing of Janesville, brother-in-law Lynn (Yvonne) LaFlash of LaFarge and many other relatives and friends.

Funeral services will be held Saturday, February 15, 2020, 11:00 a.m. at St. Matthew’s Lutheran Church in Kirby. Pastor Kory Janneke will officiate. Burial will follow in the Oak Grove Cemetery, Tomah, WI. Family and friends are invited for visitation Friday, February 14, 2020, from 4:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m. at the Torkelson Funeral Home in Tomah, WI. Family and friends are also invited for visitation Saturday from 9:30 a.m. until the time of service at the church. Online condolences are available at