Donald Kenneth Etrheim, 90, Jasper, died Tuesday, May 21, 2019, at the Minnesota Veterans Home in Luverne.
A funeral service was Saturday, May 25, at the Jasper Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jasper. Burial was in the Jasper City Cemetery.
Donald Etrheim was born (and baptized) on Dec. 1, 1928, to Norwegian immigrants Sven and Randveig “Randy” (Gjeide) Etrheim on the family farm in Rock County, Minnesota, near Valley Springs, South Dakota. He was the firstborn American citizen in the family. The family moved to Balaton where he attended country school and then Balaton High School. He was confirmed at the Florence Lutheran Church in Florence. He helped on the family farm and for neighboring farmers and had many 4-H projects. In 1945 the family moved to Jasper, and Donald attended Jasper High School, graduating in 1947.
In December 1950 he enlisted in the United States Navy. He served on the USS Piedmont AD 17 for four years. He received his honorable discharge and returned to Jasper to farm.
On June 1, 1957, he married Devonna Zweep in Garretson, South Dakota. They made their home on a farm east of Jasper. In 1999 he retired after a traumatic brain injury accident. After 2 1/2 years of physical therapy, he was able to enjoy life again.
Donald was an active member of the Jasper Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jasper. He was a charter member of the Arthur Moeller American Legion Post 478 of Hardwick and a lifelong member of the Pipestone VFW Post 3814. He was also a member of the Jasper Lions Club, the Eden Rural Fire Board, the Ihlen Senior Citizens, the Sons of Norway and the Hollyhock Square Dance Club. In April of 2018 Donald moved to the Minnesota Veterans Home in Luverne.
Donald enjoyed dancing, especially polkas and waltzes. He always said, “You can’t be sad dancing.” He also enjoyed reading Louis L'Amour books, bowling, and helping friends. Near retirement, Donald learned to make lefse, candy, and cookies. Donald enjoyed attending the activities and events of his children and grandchildren.
Donald is survived by his wife, Devonna, of Jasper; five children, Bryan (Donna) Etrheim of Garretson, Robert (Lori) Etrheim of Tyler, Dianne (Brad) Johnson of Russell, Daniel (Chrisann) Etrheim of Brandon, South Dakota, and John (Sheila) Etrheim of Sioux Falls, South Dakota; 16 grandchildren, Nicole (Dave) Trudeau, Tyler (Denielle) Etrheim, Lindsey and Austin Etrheim, Chelsey (Josh) Jackson and Brant (Liz) Etrheim, Rachel, Krista and Ross Johnson, Charissa, Trey and Brooke Etrheim, Brody, Megan, Elise and Griffin Etrheim; five great-grandchildren; one brother, Harold (Dallas) Etrheim of Hardwick; sisters-in-law Shirley Etrheim of LaCrescent and Darlene Zweep of Garretson; and one brother-in-law, Donald Zweep of Brandon.
He was preceded in death by his parents; two brothers, James and Roger (Jeanette) Etrheim; a sister, Beverly (Dale) Radi; one sister-in-law, Flora Zweep; one brother-in-law, Lloyd Zweep; and his mother- and father-in-law, John and Katie Zweep.
Memorials are preferred to the Minnesota Lions Vision Foundation, the Jasper Fire Department and the Jasper Ambulance Association.
Arrangements were provided by Hartquist Funeral Home of Pipestone, www.hartquistfuneral.com.