Donald R. Hnath

Donald R. Hnath, age 90 of Ashland, WI passed away Thursday, Nov 14, 2019 at Northern Lights Health Care Center in Washburn, WI. Don was born in Ashland, on May 28, 1929 the son of John and Anna (Imrick) Hnath and raised on a farm in the Township of Eileen, Bayfield Co.

He spent his early life on the farm with his parents and learning his future skills in the family farm shop. In 1953 he started working for the J.E. Barany Construction Co as a truck mechanic, equipment operator and welder. In 1955 to 1961 he worked for the Albert H. Roffers Construction Co as a heavy equipment mechanic, truck driver and equipment operator. He then enrolled in the American Technical Society School of Automotive and Heavy Equipment of Chicago, IL and received his certificate of proficiency on Mar 7, 1963. On Aug 6, 1960 he was united in marriage to Jane M. Sanders in Ashland. Jane was a teacher for over 37 years and preceded him in death on Apr 18, 2009. In 1961 to 1964 he worked for the Bayfield County Highway Department maintenance shop as a welder, mechanic and later as assistant shop foreman. In 1964 he worked for the C.G. Bretting Mfg. Co as a truck mechanic and maintenance. In 1967 to 1970 he worked at the Beloit Corp as warranty supervisor and later as boring bar operator. In 1970 he continued to work for Hnath Brothers Trucking spreading agricultural lime throughout northern Wisconsin. This continued for over 30 years. He also spent 41 years grading roads and snowplowing for the Township of Eileen. He also spent 28 years trucking heavy machinery for Ashland Industries, throughout the United States and Canada, logging over two million miles. His hobbies were video photography at weddings for over 15 years and machine shop welding and machinist work where he had many inventions and patents.

Donald’s granddaughters were the light of his life. He loved spending time with and spoiling them, Don enjoyed telling everyone how proud he was of them.

Survivors include his daughter, Susan Ann and son-in-law, William Erickson of Ashland; granddaughters, Lily, Allison and Emily Kovach-Erickson of Ashland; brothers, David and Paul Hnath of Ashland; sisters, Dorothy (Ivan) Bichanich of Janesville, WI and Kathleen Hnath of Hayward, WI.

He was preceded in death by his parents; Wife, Jane; brothers, Bernard and John; son-in-law, Darryl Kovach and special friend, Pat Frostman.

A Mass of Christian Burial for Donald will be celebrated at 12:00 on Tuesday, Nov 19, 2019 at Our Lady of the Lake Catholic Church in Ashland with Father Jerome D’Souza as Celebrant.

Visitation will be from 6 to 8 p.m. with a prayer service at 7:30 on Monday Nov 18 at the Mountain Funeral Home in Ashland.

Interment will take place in Saint Agnes Cemetery, Ashland.

Memorials are preferred to the Northern Lights Health Care Center in Washburn, WI, Activity Fund or Our Lady of the Lake Catholic Church in Ashland.

Online condolences for Don’s family may be left at

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