Donald R. Corning

Donald R. Corning, age 96, passed away on Friday May 24, 2024, at SSM Health/ St. Agnes Hospital. He was born in Lewiston township near Portage, WI on March 27, 1928, the son of Harry and Thelma (Bell) Corning. He graduated from Pardeeville High School in 1946. He married Joan Balzer at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Pardeeville, on June 30, 1951. He served with the Army Corps of Engineers in Japan for two years. He attended MSOE and was employed at Gisholt Machine Company in Madison for 20 years and Giddings and Lewis for 20 years until his retirement in 1991.Don enjoyed many activities, but aviation was his passion. He was a flight instructor and ran a Flight Training School at Portage, WI for several years. He was a member of several pilot organizations, a past President of the Wisconsin Antique Airplane Association and a lifetime member of EAA. He built 4 airplanes and restored two 1930 vintage planes, one of which is in a Chicago area air museum. Don also enjoyed traveling with Joan. One of his favorite trips was down the Amazon River in Peru.

Don is survived by his wife of 73 years, Joan; three sons, Paul (Ruth), Tucson, AZ, Stanley, Plymouth, WI and Wade (Mary), West Bend, WI; two brothers, Gordon, Greenville, IL, and Harry (Judy) of Grove City, Ohio; two sisters, Evelyn Wilson, Lodi, WI and Vi Bauer, Portage, WI. He is further survived by 8 grandchildren; 10 great grandchildren; and many nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents; two brothers; Chester and George; and a sister Beverly Ann.

The visitation will be held on Thursday, May 30, 2024, from 10:30 AM – 11:30 AM at Uecker-Witt Funeral Home. The funeral services will follow the visitation at 11:30 AM at the funeral home with Deacon Dale Paczkowski officiating. Burial will follow at St. Charles Cemetery with Military Honors to take place.

Don’s family would like to thank the staff of SSM Health Hospital and Hospice for their compassionate care of Don. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be given to a charity of your choice in Don’s name.

Services are in the care of Uecker-Witt Funeral Home, 524 North Park Avenue, Fond du Lac, WI, 54935. Additional information and guestbook can be found at