Don was born on August 2, 1941, in Winona, MN. He attended Winona High School until joining the Navy in 1958 at the age of 17. Don served aboard the USS Duval County LST-758 and the USS Thomaston LSD-28 as a gunners mate, until his discharge in 1962. During his time in the service, he made two overseas tours and one to the Marshall Islands. He also served two years as a MP in the 336th MP reserve unit in Rochester, Minnesota.
After his discharge he attended Winona Technical School while working at Lake Center Industries until he graduated. Don was then employed by IBM where he was a faithful employee for 30 years, retiring as a buyer. After retirement he had several jobs, including driving a school bus for 10 years. Don was a lifetime member of the Elks and Eagles.
In 1963 Don married Susan Cox and they were later divorced. In 1993 Don met and married Janet Sweeny until she passed away in 2002 from lung cancer. In 2004 he met special friend Rita Tollefsrud who has been by his side ever since.
Survivors include two sons, Rick of Lakeville, MN and Jeremy of Kasson, MN; one daughter, Tracy of Oceanside, CA; grandson, Scott; great grandchildren, Avery, Ashlyn and Bryson; and two stepchildren, Lisa and Mark of Rochester, MN.
He was preceded in death by his parents and son-in-law Randy.
A memorial service will be held at 11:00 AM on Friday, June 2, 2023, at Ranfranz and Vine Funeral Home (5421 Royal Place NW, Rochester, MN 55901). Burial will be at Hamilton Cemetery in rural Racine, MN.
Ranfranz and Vine Funeral Home is honored to be serving the Smith family; to share a special memory or condolence, please visit www.ranfranzandvinefh.com.
Rochester, MN 55901
I have missed Don for the last few years. We were the best of friends for many years. I will always remember the good time we had golfing, riding are motor cycles and many other things. I miss you Don and may you rest in peace. You pal Dale
Don i will miss you. I loved our little conversations and then start laughing and then you would say..what are we laughing at...lol I will miss you even more. Happy golfing my friend. Cindy W from Riverside.