Donald Elmer Pirlot


KINGSFORD — Donald Elmer Pirlot, loving husband, father, and grandfather, was called to his eternal home on Dec. 29, 2016, at age 79 at Appleton Medical Center.

Don was born on Nov. 2, 1937, in Kingsford to Elmer and Ethel Pirlot. He graduated from Kingsford High School in 1955 and entered the workforce.

In April of 1958 he married the love of his life, Virgie Marcelini. The couple devoted themselves to raising their three daughters, Dawn, Jodi, and Stacey in Appleton, Wis.

His strong desire to be a teacher led him to attend college at Northern Michigan University. He graduated in 1966 with a degree in secondary education and received his Master’s Degree from NMU in 1973. Don began his teaching career at Kaukauna High School in Kaukauna, Wis.

After teaching in Kaukauna for 4 years, over the next 26 years Don taught at all three high schools in Appleton, where he had a profound influence on many young people. He also taught night school at Fox Valley Technical College.

Don loved hunting and being in the woods with his brother Harlan and dear friends Augie and Ron. He cherished the times fishing with his children and grandchildren at their home on the Menominee River. Don was a talented craftsman and gifted others with his amazing art. He crafted a beautiful cradle for his first granddaughter, which is where his first great-grandson will soon be sleeping. Don was also a gifted musician. He played the guitar, wrote music, and sang.

Don won an award for his song “A Daddy’s Wedding Song” from the Music City Song Festival in Nashville. He and Virgie enjoyed being a part of a music group that sang at nursing homes and at church.

Don was an active member of St. Thomas More Church in Appleton for 30 years and a contributing member of the school board for several years. After retiring and returning to live in the Upper Peninsula, he and Virgie attended American Martyrs Catholic Church in Kingsford, where they were married 58 years ago. He was also a member of the National Guard.

In addition to his wife, Virgie, Don is survived by three daughters, Dawn (Jim) Fulcer of Appleton, Jodi Pirlot of Breckenridge, Colo., and Stacey (Jeff) Wysocki of Erie, Colo.; grandchildren Lindsay (Eric) Ropella, Brady Fulcer, Lucas Schmolesky, Chloe Schmolesky, Jensen Wysocki, and Ethan Wysocki; and brother Harlan (Joyce) Pirlot of Appleton.

He is preceded in death by his parents, Elmer and Ethel Pirlot; his sister, Linda VanGinkel; brother, Dale Pirlot; brother-in-law, Larry Lidbeck; and sister-in-law, Darlene Lidbeck. Visitation will be from 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 4, 2017, at the Kingsford Funeral Home, 1000 S. Carpenter Avenue, Kingsford, Michigan.

A mass to celebrate Don’s life will be held at 11 a.m. on Wednesday at American Martyrs Catholic Church, 908 W. Sagola Ave., Kingsford. Fr. Joseph Gouin will officiate.

Condolences may be expressed to the family of Don Pirlot online at

The family has entrusted the Erickson-Rochon & Nash Kingsford Funeral Home with the arrangements.