Donald J. Charbonneau, 75, Rancho Mirage, Calif., formerly of Dickinson, passed away Sept. 7, 2018, in Rancho Mirage, after many lengthy illnesses. A celebration of life service for Donald will be held at 2 p.m. PDT Saturday, Sept. 22, at his home in Rancho Mirage.
Donald was born on April 21, 1943, in Butte, Mont., the son of H.J. Frenchie and Mary (Kelly) Charbonneau. Following graduation, Don continued his education at the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks, where he was a member of the Alpha Tau Omega Fraternity. In 1953, Donald’s father purchased the Buick Dealership in Dickinson; this was also the beginning of his lifetime involvement in car distributor/dealership. Don served in the U.S. Army National Guard from 1967 to 1973 as a Buck Sargent with a combat engineering unit. Don married and was blessed with daughter, Danielle, and son, Don Jr.
Don became a car distributor for Chevrolet Motor Division in Minneapolis in 1970. He was a dealer and president of his dealership “Charbonneau Car Center.” His primary makes were Buick, Pontiac, GMC truck, Chrysler, Plymouth and Dodge. Donald was an outstanding citizen in the Dickinson community. He received many honors over the years. Don was a distinguished leader, his list of accomplishments include: Director of National Automobile Dealers Association, Chairman of ND State CAR-PAC, served on Chrysler Dealers Council, treasurer of Buick Dealers Ad Association, president of Dickinson Chamber of Commerce, recipient of Time Magazine Quality Dealer Award. Career achievements include: car distributor, Chevrolet Motor division dealer and president, also receiving recognition in the 1993/1994 edition of Gilford’s “Who’s Who, The Elite Registry of Extraordinary Professionals.”
His civic and charitable involvement includes: Dickinson Chamber of Commerce President, Greater ND Association Director, Dickinson Golf Association Director, Dickinson Elks-Exalter Ruler, National Elks District Deputy Grand Exalted Ruler, Drivers Education cars for schools, Governor’s committee of ND State for Economic Development, Republican Party Delegate, Director of West Dakota Buick Dealers and GMC Dealers.
Don enjoyed all sports, with a special interest in boating, golf, and car racing. He and Irene spent most of their retirement years in California.
Don is survived by his wife, Irene, Rancho Mirage; daughter, Danielle McClure, Denver; granddaughter, Taya McClure; and sister, Pat (Charbonneau) Berg, and nephew, Eric Berg.
He was preceded in death by his parents; and son, DJ (Don Jr).
Remembrances and condolences may be shared with the family at www.stevensonfuneralhome.com. (Stevenson Funeral Home and Crematory, Dickinson)