Donald Leroy Howe took his first breath Nov. 8, 1926, and his last Jan. 6, 2018, at Western Horizons Living Centers, Hettinger, at the age of 91. The Funeral service is scheduled for 10:30 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 13, at the Hettinger Lutheran Church, Hettinger. The Rev. Kathleen Dettmann will officiate and burial will follow at the Hettinger Cemetery.
Visitation will be from 3 to 8 p.m. Friday followed by a gathering of family and friends at 8 p.m., all at the Centennial Chapel of Evanson Jensen Funeral Homes in Hettinger.
Don (aka ‘Bud’ to those over 70), was born to Otto and Leona Howe, in a rock home located about two miles south of Bucyrus. His birth was attended by his Grandma Shields, who served as a midwife in the area.
Growing up on a farm west of Hettinger, during the Great Depression undoubtedly developed much of Don’s determination and strong character that served him during a lifetime of many joys, but also considerable adversity. When he was about nine years old, Don was in a serious accident while driving a team of horses that left him in a coma for about three days.
He married his high school sweetheart, Darlene Nelson, on Jan. 1, 1947. Together they raised a daughter and three sons, living six miles west of Hettinger. Don and Darlene’s lives were significantly impacted by the Bethel Series Bible study taught by the Rev. Robert Boxrud. Don later acknowledged God’s helping hand in establishing the beautiful farming and ranching operation. Darlene passed away at home with Don by her side Oct. 8, 1986.
In April 1994, Don married June Kling. They continued to farm and ranch with the help of Don’s son, Rodney. June passed away May 14, 2010. June’s daughters, Arvetta Wiesinger, Debra Thom, and Anita Hoge also enjoyed visiting the farm along with their children.
Don was very devoted and accomplished in his many ventures, including raising quality crops and livestock, always trying to implement the latest in sound research and conservation. In addition, he was a gifted public speaker. Active in Toastmasters, he won numerous awards and once took first place in the humorous speech contest with entrants from a broad geographic area. Sharing his speaking abilities, he helped many young 4-H members develop their skills. We often hear comments about how much these skills have helped them later in life. Former State Legislator and Congressional candidate, Rick Berg, has given Don thanks and considerable credit for his training in public speaking.
Also active in the local Scouting program, Don made a huge impression on young scouts acting as Chief Akela. He later confided that some of his most fulfilling work in life was teaching young people, including teaching children, grandchildren, and 4-H members how to weld. He truly believed the best education one could get was on the farm. As his grandchildren can attest, Grandpa’s instructions to visitors coming to the farm were, “Be sure and bring your work clothes!”
Part of his legacy includes major contributions to agricultural extension and research at the local, state, and national level. He served on the Hettinger and Dickinson Experiment Station Advisory Boards, as well as with North Dakota State University and the national Council for Agricultural Research, Extension, and Teaching (CARET).
His leadership skills were also useful as president of the Hettinger Public School Board, director on the Federal Land Bank Board and the Hettinger Lutheran Church Board.
In later years his enjoyment of the land and work was greatly enhanced by the friendship and assistance of Gene Seamands. Together they maintained the farm and ranch, working many hours on fencing and other farm operations.
Others can tell of his extraordinary ability to comfort and counsel those grieving and suffering from great tragedy. Also, his endless wit and humor will be missed by the many lives that he touched!
Rest well from your labors, Dad/Grandpa Don. We’ll shut the gate.
Grateful for having shared in his life are his children, Sherryl (Ken) Biberdorf, Chandler, Ariz., Berdette (Donna) Howe, Bismarck, Rodney (Melana) Howe, Hettinger, and Kevin (Kirsten) Howe, Mt. Prospect, Ill.; 13 Grandchildren, Brian Biberdorf and Michael Biberdorf, Christopher (Jennifer) Howe, Lisa (Jimmie) Galaites, Andrew Howe and Anthony Howe, Sarah (Cody) Schmalz, Kayla (Eric) Honeyman, Brandon (Andrea) Sinkbeil, Nellie O’Reilly, Erin (Ryan) Nornberg, Meghan Howe and Ryan Howe; 10 great-grandchildren; five siblings, Joyce Blake, Seattle, Norman (Betty) Howe, Spearfish, S.D., Dorwin (Isabel) Howe, Hettinger, Arlo (Erkle) Howe, Bismarck, and Kay (Don) McCarthy, Sitka, Alaska.
Don was preceded in death by his parents; his first wife, Darlene; his second wife, June; an infant brother, Alfred Howe; a sister, Maxine Tait; and a brother, Lynn Howe.
If so inclined, please consider a memorial to Adams County 4-H and Youth Development.
Condolences to the Howe family can be sent through our website at www.evansonjensenfuneralhome.com.