Howard Danforth “Dan” Poulson, 85, of Palmyra, WI, passed away on Friday, July 23, 2021 at his home.
Dan was born on April 30, 1936 in Onarga, IL, the son of Leo and Dorothy (Danforth) Poulson. He spent the first decade of his life in Iroquois County, IL before his family moved to Palmyra in the mid 1940’s to continue dairy farming. Dan attended Palmyra High School and excelled in athletics. He graduated in 1954 and won the top athlete of the year award his senior year. While growing up Dan was also very involved in FFA and was elected as the Wisconsin FFA President at age 19. Dan owned and operated his own farm for the majority of his working career, but his impact on the agricultural industry was much larger than that of a typical farmer. Dan served as Vice President of the Wisconsin Farm Bureau from 1970 until 1992 when he was elected President and CEO of the Wisconsin Farm Bureau. He served as President until 2003. During his tenure he worked diligently as an advocate for the agricultural industry in Wisconsin and across the United States. He also advised foreign leaders on farming and the agricultural industry. In 2003, Dan received the Award of Distinction from the University of Wisconsin College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, the highest recognition bestowed by the college, for his contributions to the agricultural industry. Governor Tommy Thompson appointed Dan to the Wisconsin DNR board in 1995 where he served until 2007. During this time he worked to conserve and protect the Wisconsin farmer and Wisconsin’s farmland. Dan felt passionately about this industry and loved serving in this capacity.
While Dan’s achievements and influence in his professional life on a state, national, and international level were numerous, his first priorities were family and faith. Dan was a loving husband, dad, grandpa, and great-grandpa. He married Jeanette Stuessy on May 29, 1959, and the Lord blessed their marriage with three sons, Blane, Darren, and Kyle. Dan and Jeanette enjoyed 40 years of marriage together until her passing on October 10, 1999. Dan later married Marjorie Jean Badger on August 3, 2004 in Caldwell, WI, and they would spend the rest of Dan’s life together on the farm. Dan deeply cared for and was genuinely interested in others. He had a gifted memory (remembering everyone’s name) and showed great attention to detail. Dan was an avid Palmyra historian who could spend hours sharing his knowledge of the area. He will also be remembered for his wisdom. Dan was sought-after for advice, and when he spoke, people listened. He served his community on various boards and was also very involved in his local church, Palmyra United Methodist. In short, Dan was a leader in every aspect of his life. He will be deeply missed by those he leaves behind, but his legacy will certainly live on through the countless lives he touched.
He is survived by: his dear wife, Marjorie Jean Poulson; his three sons, Blane (Kelly) Poulson, Darren (Chris) Poulson, and Kyle (Bonnie) Poulson; his grandchildren, Ileia (Macklin) Domres, Chandler (Steven) Hogenmiller, Madison (Mackie) Glosson, Travis Poulson, Carson Poulson, Erika (Zach) Dlobik, Taylor Poulson, and Ty Poulson; and his great-grandchildren, Hadley and Graylin Domres, Lucy Hogenmiller, and Rilynn, Lilyana and Zane Dlobik. He is also survived by his wife Jean’s children, whom he loved deeply, and other relatives and countless friends.
He is preceded in death by his parents, his loving wife, Jeanette, and his two sisters, Carolyn and Suzanne.
In lieu of flowers, memorials in Dan’s honor may be made to the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Foundation or the Palmyra United Methodist Church.
A Funeral Service will be held to honor Dan’s life at 12:00 Noon on Saturday, July 31, 2021 at the Palmyra United Methodist Church with the Rev. Norman P. Bude presiding. Visitation will take place on Friday, July 30, 2021 at the Palmyra United Methodist Church from 4:00PM until 7:00PM and on Saturday from 11:00AM until the time of service. Dan will be laid to rest in Hillside Cemetery of Palmyra, WI immediately following the service. All are invited to join the family in a fellowship meal.
Gibson Family Funeral Homes of Palmyra & Eagle, WI is serving the family. To place an online condolence please visit gibsonfuneral.com
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