He graduated from Red Lodge High School, where he lettered in baseball, football and basketball. He was an avid fly fisherman and hunter.
Don worked on the Beartooth Highway in Montana and later went to Yellowstone National Park to work at Canyon Hotel, where he met his wife of 57 years, Jackie.
Don enlisted in the U.S. Air Force for four years, serving in Morocco during the Korean Conflict. After the service he went to Anchorage in the Alaskan Territory to work on the Alaskan Railroad. While in the Alaskan Territory, he flew around in a Piper Cub to hunt and fish.
He returned to Montana for schooling, where he attended Montana State for two years, Eastern Montana State for two years and later earned his Master’s Degree at St. Cloud State in Minnesota.
In 1963, Don and Jackie moved to Forest Lake where he became a substitute teacher/audiologist in the Forest Lake School District. After teaching in Forest Lake, he took a job at the Minnesota Department of Health in 1966 where he worked for 28 years in the hearing and vision Department. He gave eye/hearing checks to children in schools across the state, along with free checks at the Minnesota State Fair.
While in Forest Lake, Don became one of the original members of the Forest Lake Sportsmen’s Club. He also volunteered at the polling booth every year, as he thought it was a good way to meet people. He also was a little league baseball coach and helped to flood the ice rinks in the winter.
As an avid fisherman, upon his arrival in Minnesota, Don had never fished for anything other than trout and salmon. When he and his wife would go fishing , they would “catch and release” the ugly fish they kept catching due to their “ugly eyes”, which led them to believe they were diseased. He later would learn these “ugly-eyed fish” were walleye! Since then, he always said the two best jigs are a White Crappie Killer and a White Mister Twister.
Don was preceded in death by his parents, Leland and Margaret; wife, Jacquelyn; sister, Norma Lee and her husband, Bill Crtalic; and brothers Roger and Leland, Jr.
He is survived and missed by his sons, Scott and Mark; sister-in-law, Berry; brothers-in-law, Donald and Jerry; and many cousins, nieces and nephews.
A private graveside service will be held at Scandinavian Cemetery in Forest Lake at a later date.