Donald Earl Tichenor Sr.

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Donald Earl Tichenor Sr., 87, passed away on Tuesday, Jan. 10, peacefully in his new home in Tucson, Ariz. 


He was born on May 27, 1929, to Austin Tichenor Sr. & Marie (Valley) Tichenor in Prairie du Chien. Don was married to the love of his life, Mary Jean (Geisler) Tichenor, from June 20, 1953, until she passed away on Oct. 2, 2008. They enjoyed 55 years of marriage. Their love was so true, it was unlike any other. Don and Mary Jean were longtime residents of Prairie du Chien, then moved to Madison. Some years after Mary Jean’s death, Don moved to Tuscon, Ariz., with his daughter, Debera Tichenor, and her lifelong partner, Johnnie Powell. 


Don operated Geisler’s Blue Heaven Restaurant, Bar & Supper Club in Prairie du Chien, with his wife and her family for over 40 years. He was acclaimed for his listening skills and attentiveness to customers. 


Don was also a Chief Supply Sargent in the United States Air Force. Don continued to be an avid member of the Veteran’s Association for the rest of his life. When Don and Mary Jean moved to Madison, Don began to work for the State Revenue Department, where he continued to work at until he retired at the age of 83.


His dearest family will miss Don, including his daughter, Debera Tichenor; son, Donald Tichenor Jr.; like-a-son, Johnnie Powell; granddaughter, Jesha Tichenor; brothers, Darwin Tichenor and James (Theresa) Tichenor; special niece, Michelle Mara; several other nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends. 


Don was preceded in death by his treasured wife; parents;  and siblings Austin “Bud” Tichenor Jr., Doris Tichenor, Kenneth “Kenny” Tichenor, Richard “Dick” Tichenor. 


The family would like to thank Maria Virgen, close friend and caretaker of Don in his final years of life. Don will be remembered for his kindness and understanding. If any one person could define the word “chivalry,” it would be Don; the way he treated his one true love, Mary Jean, as well as family and friends. Those who knew him will greatly miss Don, but are relieved he is out of pain and reunited with his one true love in Heaven. 


A celebration of Don’s life will be held on Saturday, June 24, at 2 p.m., at The Tavern, 205 W. Blackhawk Avenue, Prairie du Chien. All are welcome to join his family and friends in celebrating Don’s life. 


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