Delwyn Leonard Biel was born on May 24, 1932 at 7 am on Twin Oaks Farm on a Tuesday, as the only son of Leonard and Claire(Haas) Biel, Fall River, WI. He died peacefully on Thursday July 16, 2020 at his home at the age of 88.
He attended the one-room school at Lost Lake and then Randolph Public Schools, graduating in 1950. He married Mary Etta McDowell on October 3, 1953 at St. Mary’s Lost Lake. They have always resided in rural Randolph raising their five daughters and one son on their town of Calamus farms where as a lifelong farmer they had a dairy herd, steers, pigs, and more. Del retired from milking cows in 1994. His favorite farm chore was making hay, but he enjoyed all the farm work (including pulling his kids out of the mud when they buried the tractors up to the axles.) He was an avid antique tractor collector and a member of the J.I. Case Collectors Association as well as a coin and stamp collector.
Del was a Town of Calamus supervisor for two years before he went on to serve on the Dodge County Board for 20 years. There he enjoyed his role on various committees, including serving as chairman of Human Services and Health Board for 12 years and as member of the County Board’s Executive Committee.
He was instrumental in establishing the Lost Lake-Randolph Historical Society with a contingent of other concerned citizens wanting to preserve St Mary’s Catholic Church and history of the local area. He was the president of the historical society for many years. Del loved talking to the visitors about the history of the area farms. He donated the Lost Lake School he once attended to the historical society as an exhibit so that future generations could learn what it was like to attend a one-room school.
But of all the threads that wove together the tapestry of his life, none of them were more important than the love for his family and the time he spent with them. He will be deeply missed by us all.
Del is survived by his sweetheart Mary and children: Barbara Smith (Glenn) Maple Grove, MN; Denise Erickson (Henry Dekker) South Windsor, CT; David Biel (Darci) Twin Oaks Farm, Fall River, WI; Valerie Johnson (RJ) Randolph, WI; a son-in-law Steve Griswold, Beaver Dam, WI.
He is further survived by 14 grandchildren: Dan Harter, John Harter, Joseph Harter all of the Milwaukee, WI area, Brenda Schaefer (Philip) Maple Grove, MN; Sarah Zeidler(Hayden) West Des Moines, Iowa; Mary Erickson Minneapolis, MN; Nicholas Griswold, Beaver Dam, WI; Jeff Griswold (Amber) Beaver Dam, WI; Coby Curkeet (Alyssa) Fall River, WI; Kelsey Curkeet (Preston Posthuma), Columbus, WI; Keeley Crosby (Mark) Madison, WI; Reagan Johnson (Eliah Muller), Rochester, MN; Noah Johnson (Cora Egherman) Rochester, MN — and 14 great-grandchildren: William Harter; Emma, Evan and Nora Schaefer; Oliver Zeidler; Summer Zuhlke; Meghan, Alex, Teagan and Shiloh Griswold; Carter and Natalie Griswold; Julian Ramczyk and Eila Curkeet. Del is also survived by two sisters-in-law, Jeanne McDowell and Barbara McDowell, many nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends.
He was preceded in death by his parents, his sisters, Geraldine Riese and Leone Everett, infant son Robert 1955, daughters Marilyn Harter 2003 and Karen Griswold 2009, and great-grandson Leo Curkeet 2018, in addition to many other family and friends.
A private Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated for Del followed by burial at Annunciation Cemetery (St. Mary’s) at Lost Lake, the final resting place of so many loved ones, which sits on the very land donated by his great-grandfather Joseph Biel, Sr. to establish the parish of St. Mary’s in 1866. There will be a public celebration of his life next year.
The family would like to thank Drs. Rolf and Sam Poser and their staff, Prairie Ridge Health and the 4th floor nursing staff, Agrace Hospice, Visiting Angels – especially Abbey, and Fr. Garrett at St Jerome’s Catholic Church for their help during Del’s last illness.
In lieu of flowers memorials are suggested for Lost Lake-Randolph Historical Society, W11827 Concord Rd, Randolph, WI 53956, or Agrace Hospice, 5395 E. Cheryl Parkway, Madison, WI 53711.
The Koepsell-Murray Funeral Home in Beaver Dam is caring for the family. To leave online condolences, or for directions and other information, please visit our website at www.KoepsellFH.com.