Donald Lafrenz

Donald Lafrenz

Col. Donald W. Lafrenz, age 83, of Luverne, Minnesota, died Friday, March 18, 2022, at the Sanford USD Medical Center in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

Visitation will be Thursday, March 24, from 4 to 7 p.m. at Hartquist Funeral Home in Luverne. Funeral service will be Friday, March 25, at 11 a.m. at Hartquist Funeral Home in Luverne. Burial will follow at Maplewood Cemetery in Luverne. To view Don’s life tribute video or sign an online registry, please visit

Col. Donald Wayne Lafrenz was born on March 5, 1939, to Henry and Martha (Meins) Lafrenz in Springwater Township of Rock County, Minnesota. At a young age, the family moved to a farm northwest of Luverne, Minnesota. Don attended District 8 Country School through the eighth grade. During his youth, Don was involved in the FFA and 4-H programs and received the 4-H Grand Champion Steer and Gilt State Champions. Don graduated from Luverne High School in 1958.

As his father’s health declined, Don remained at home to help his father on the farm. Don fell into love with auctioneering after going to the sale barn with his dad for many years. So much so, that Don went to Reisch’s School for Auctioneering in Mason City, Iowa, graduating in December 1959 earning the title Col. Donald W Lafrenz. He returned home after completing the course and began his life of farming and auctioneering. He owned and operated Lafrenz Auction Service for 55 years.

On February 14, 1960, Don married Patricia Letcher at Zion Lutheran Church in Hardwick, Minnesota. The couple first bought a house and moved it onto Don’s parents’ farm. They moved to various other farms until settling for 16 years on a farm near Hardwick, Minnesota. At this time they joined Zion Lutheran Church and Don coached the church softball team as they had back-to-back state runner-up finishes in the middle ’70s.

In 1989 the couple moved to Luverne. Throughout his life Don farmed along with auctioneering. Later in life, he worked part time at Engebretson-Hartquist Funeral Home.  Following that, Don enjoyed helping his son, Darin, build a day care in Larchwood, Iowa.

Watching and cheering on his grandkids at their sporting events was his pride and joy. Don also enjoyed going to auctions, antique stores and loved going to toy shows. You could always find Don tinkering and restoring old John Deere toy tractors and equipment. He couldn’t wait for the Toy Farmer magazine to arrive so he could read it front to back, and then take a long nap in his chair. He also enjoyed restoring furniture, cheering on the Minnesota Vikings, and NASCAR from his love of racing his hobby stock at Huset’s Speedway.

In late 2021, Don began having health issues. On Friday, March 18, 2022 he died peacefully, with his wife by his side, at the Sanford USD Medical Center in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, at the age of 83 years and 13 days.

Don is lovingly remembered by his wife of 62 years, Pat; four sons, Wayne (Deb) of Parkersburg, Iowa, Doug of Hardwick, Minnesota, Darin of Larchwood, Iowa, and Waylon of Moscow, Tennessee; seven grandchildren, Brandon (Carrie), Bree (Blake), Jesse (Whitney), Spencer, Trevor, Tysen and Courteney; 12 great-grandchildren: Avery, Taylor, Harlie, Lila, Georgia, Morgan, Rylee, Ella, Evan, Braxton, Ava and Alexander; special friends, Mike and Jolene Cronin; special cousin, Wanda; and other family and friends.

He was preceded in death by his loving daughter-in-law, Judie; parents, Henry and Martha; and brother, Dwight.

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