He passed away peacefully on Sunday and I got the email from my dad when I returned from my adventurous weekend away. (to be written about later...)
I knew when I moved to Africa the first time in 2009, and then chose to again in 2012, that I would lose loved ones and would not be able to be there for them. It does not make loss any easier, and my heart wishes to be there with my family this weekend. However, I'm chosing to dwell on my favorite memories of Grandpa.
We didn't see him very often growing up, they lived several states away and would come to visit once a year. When I was very young I was so shy I would hide in my room when they came. (Some of you are saying "krissy?? shy???? Yes! It's true!) It would take a couple of hours for me to come out of hiding and greet my grandparents. Then all was well.
I remember most how much he loved my Grandmother (who passed away while I was in Benin). He would always call her 'Tiger', and would say things like, "I tell every man I meet to marry a nurse cause that's the only way to know you are getting a real class act". (Thanks to my cousin for reminding me of that one!)
I made a special trip to visit him when I was in Minnesota last year - and I knew it was likely the last time I would see him. Even then, when I paused to look at a family photo about fifty years ago, he told me what an incredible woman my Grandmother was. I'm glad they're together again.
Much love to my family today - I'm with you in spirit. Krissy
Don married Eileen Leuhrs on April 27, 1947. He operated heavy transportation and construction equipment in Rochester before becoming a carpenter. He later formed his own construction company developing Forest Hills, the Forest Hills Water Company, and later joining the Cascade Corporation development (Elton Hills, Crescent Park). In 1971, he terminated the business and entered employment with the Olmsted County Code Enforcement Division, from which he retired in 1980. He and Eileen moved to Rogers, Ark., where they built a home on Beaver Lake. They thoroughly enjoyed their 25 years in Arkansas, before returning to Rochester in 2005, when Eileen's health began to deteriorate, taking up residency at Shorewood Senior Campus.
Some of Don's fondest memories were of the many lengthy trips he and Eileen spent traveling by boat along the Mississippi River. Upon their return to Minnesota, Don continued to spend time on the river, enjoying boating and fishing out of the Wabasha Marina.
A Celebration of Don's Life will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 16, at Byron United Methodist Church, 507 First Ave. N.W. in Byron, with Pastor Sharon Nelson officiating. A luncheon will follow the service. Burial will be at a later date in the Byron Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, Don would have wished you to make a contribution to the Salvation Army.