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Doran R. Zwygart, age 93, died Tuesday, December 1, 2009 surrounded by his friends at "Toothless Tigers."
Doran R. Zwygart, age 93, died Tuesday, December 1, 2009 surrounded by his friends at "Toothless Tigers." Doran was born in Brodhead, Wisconsin on July 12, 1916 to Otto and Minnie (Badertscher) Zwygart, the second of six children. The family moved to Monroe in 1927 and then to Davis, Illinois residing there until 1932 where Doran attended Walnut Grove and Davis High School. In 1932 they returned to Monroe and he graduated from Monroe High School in 1934 serving as President of his high school class. On May 24, 1941 he was united in marriage to Belva M. Goecks at St. John's United Church of Christ. They celebrated their 68th anniversary this year. On July 4, 1942 he was inducted into the U.S. Army. He was commissioned Second Lieutenant in March 1943 and First Lieutenant in November of the same year. In June 1944 he was deployed to Europe and served in the following campaigns for World War II: Siegfried Line for which he earned a Bronze Star; Battle of the Bulge for which he earned an Oak Leaf Cluster and the Ruhr Pocket and the Rhine Crossing. He was separated from active duty October 1945 and from 1945 to 1952 he was a Captain in the Army Reserve.

In 1932, Doran followed his father into the cheese business and began his successful career at Armour & Company, retiring on March 15, 1980 as the general manager of the Dairy Division. He then established Brocon, a cheese brokerage and consulting business that he ran for seven years. In 1951 he was one of the founders of the radio station WEKZ and was co-owner until 1996. As he was interested in farming, he owned and actively participated in running a dairy farm in Lafayette County for 40 years and received the Lafayette County Conservation Award. He volunteered his time to numerous organizations and provided leadership to many, including his service as Boy Scout Master Troop 101, as well as a Cub Pack Leader; he was one of the founding members of the United Fund, today known as the United Way; he was a member of the Zilmer Riley American Legion and was Commander of the Post; he was also a member of the 40+8, VFW, Monroe Country Club, and the Monroe Lions Club where he also served as president. Doran served on the Greenwood Cemetery Board for 32 years, 25 of those years as president. He was a member of the "Toothless Tigers" and the Last Man's Club of World War II Overseas Veterans. He was also a member of Executive Committee of The National Cheese Institute and a member of The Historic Cheesemaking Center. His last endeavor for the center was the book "Cheese Central USA" which he compiled to document the history of cheesemaking in Green County. He was named the Big Cheese for Cheese Days 2004 and served as co-parade marshal for Cheese Days 2006. Doran was an active member of St. John's United Church of Christ. He was a member of the Church Council for almost nine years, serving as secretary for one year and president for two years. He sang in the choir for fifteen years and was a member of the building committee and chairman of the building committee for the construction of the St. John's Garden Apartments.

He is survived by his wife, Belva; children, De Paulson and her husband Paul, Marshall "Bub" Zwygart and his wife Lori, and Dr. Mary Zwygart-Stauffacher and her husband Paul; grandchildren, Jill (Chris) Cass, Lynne (Kent) Hendrickson, Kerri (Shawn) Steinmann, Andy Zwygart, Becky (Trey) Batten, Dan (Shelley Frey) Zwygart and Ryan and Cortney Heaslip. He is also survived by his great-grandchildren, Shelby, Jenna and Jarred Cass, Cooper and Tatum Hendrickson, and Carter and Gabriella Steinmann; two sisters, Virginia Goetz and JoAnn Schwitz, and many nieces and nephews and dear friends. He was preceded in death by his parents, brother Rex Zwygart, sisters Ruby Ault and Bonnie in infancy.

Doran and his wife enjoyed many years of travel with friends all over the world and he was particularly fond of wintering in Arizona. His passion for music, learning, reading, and most importantly his love of family gave him a fulfilling and happy life.

Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday December 5, 2009 at St. John's United Church of Christ in Monroe with Rev. Dr. W.T. Mike Heath officiating. Visitation will be from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Friday, December 4, 2009 at Shriner-Hager-Gohlke Funeral Home. Burial will be at Greenwood Cemetery. In lieu of flowers memorials may be given to St. John's United Church of Christ, Apostolate to the Handicap, Lions Club Eye Bank, and The National Historic Cheese Center.