Cover photo for Donald Willson's Obituary
Donald Willson Profile Photo

Donald Willson

September 19, 1944 — January 4, 2022

Donald Willson

Donald Mac Willson, of Chatham, Michigan, left this earth to be with Our Lord on the morning of January 4, 2022, at Schneck Medical Center in Seymour, Indiana, with his family by his side. He was 77 years old.

Don entered this life on September 19, 1944, in Central Lake, Michigan. He was one of nine children born to the loving parents of Clifton and Phyllis (MacDonald) Willson. Don was a football and baseball standout for the East Jordan High School Red Devils and often spoke fondly of those days playing sports with his hometown best friends.

On January 9, 1965, he was united in marriage to Margaret Elaine (Smith) Willson. This union was blessed with three children, Robin, Sue, and Donnie, of whom Don was most proud and grateful.

Don served his community as a Police Officer in Gaylord, Michigan, before starting a career in sales, where he worked as a salesman and manager for the Shrader Tire Company and then Best One Tire, living and working both in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula and in Brownstown, Indiana. Don and Marge later became the owners and operators of the Rumely Grocery in Rumely, Michigan, where Don enjoyed mingling with the local residents and the tourists of that beautiful part of the country. And up until this year, Don sold real estate in Michigan, having worked for ReMax in Munising and most recently with Northern Michigan Land Brokers in Marquette.

Don was a devoted husband, loving father, and grandpa. He enjoyed making friends wherever he was. He loved playing golf, hunting (especially with his son and grandchildren), spending time at camp, having breakfast with the crew at the Snack Bar, listening to Christian music, visiting his family, and going with Marge to their grandchildren’s sporting events. He also liked to mention to his grandsons that they needed to average more than 10.3 yards per carry to beat “grandpa’s record.” He even continued his loyalty to the Detroit Lions through all of the years!

Surviving to cherish his memories are his wife of 57 years, Margaret, his children Robin Wheeler and her husband Russ of Brownstown, Indiana. Sue Popp and her husband Rick of Florence, Wisconsin, Donnie Willson and his wife Patty of Munising, Michigan, and five grandchildren: Sam and Isaiah Popp, and Erin, Symon, and Sophia Willson, who loved to spend time with their grandpa.

Don was preceded in death by his parents, sister Arlene Hammond, and the Willson brothers, Durwood, Bud, Burton, Clifton, Jr., Paul, Wayne, and Kenny.

A funeral will be held at Mortensen Funeral Home in Central Lake, Michigan, on Monday, January 10th, with viewing at 10:00 am and the ceremony at 11:00 am.

Don will be buried in Pleasant Valley, Michigan, in the Densmore Cemetery with a small family ceremony following the funeral.

Sincere thanks to everybody for the pouring out of love, condolences, and prayers for Don and the family. We have been greatly blessed to have had Don in our lives.

In lieu of flowers, on behalf of Don, the family asks you to consider making a donation to the Munising Baptist Church (

Arrangements have been handled by the Central Lake Chapel of Mortensen Funeral Homes. Please sign his online guestbook

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Donald Willson, please visit our flower store.

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