The funeral service for Donald Robert Staehnke will be held at 11:00 a.m., Monday, August 11, 2014, at the Grace Lutheran Church in Erskine, MN

Donald Robert Staehnke, 75, of Erskine, MN, died early Thursday morning, August 7, 2014, at the Altru Hospital in Grand Forks, ND, with his loving wife, Gloria, and their children at his side. Don had been battling ill health for the past several years while never letting it defeat his spirit.

Don was born at Clearbrook, MN on August 24, 1938, one of five children born to the union of Harold and Florence (Hanson) Staehnke. He was baptized and confirmed in the Lutheran faith and first attended elementary school in Clearbrook. At the age of 9 he moved with his family to Badger, MN, and completed his education as a 1956 graduate of Badger High School. Don spent a year doing construction work before entering the U.S. Army on December 2, 1957. He was stationed stateside at Fort Riley, KS until his honorable discharge on February 9, 1959. He returned home and then began working at the Farmers Coop Elevator in Stephen, MN. On October 22, 1960 he was united in marriage to Gloria Jean Nelson at the Bethel Lutheran Church in Karlstad, MN. Don and Gloria made their home in Stephen until relocating to Crookston in 1962, where he was employed by the Crookston Farmers Coop Elevator. In 1967 he left to become manager of the Roseau, MN Coop Elevator, and held that position until returning to Crookston in 1969, becoming manager of the local Coop Elevator a year later. Don retired in 1995 and soon after he and Gloria moved to their lake home on Union Lake, near Erskine. For the next several years Don did interim work in a management capacity at elevators throughout Minnesota and North Dakota. Complete retirement meant more time to pursue lifelong pastimes including fishing, ice fishing, and deer hunting with his kids and grandkids. His friendly, outgoing nature led to his family calling him a 'social butterfly.' Don always exhibited a keen interest in whatever those around him were doing, so much so, that he would take on the challenge of learning and doing those things himself. He was currently a member of the Grace Lutheran Church in Erskine, and a former member of Rodnes Lutheran Church, near Erskine, and Crookston's Trinity Lutheran Church. He also held memberships in the American Legion, Eagles Aerie, Lions Club, and JayCees. In past years he had been a member of the Volunteer Fire Departments of both Roseau and Crookston. He was a very loving husband, father, grandfather, and great-grandfather and will be very sadly and lovingly missed by his family and many friends.

Don is survived by his wife and best friend of 53 years, Gloria; their 4 children: Robert (Denise) Staehnke of Fosston, MN, Nadine Waxler of Champlin, MN, Laurie (Curt) Caillier of Crookston, MN, and Brenda Liebman Staehnke of Moorhead, MN; 15 grandchildren: Matt (Emily) Staehnke, Ben Staehnke, Tommy (Beth) Staehnke, Trevor, Landon, and Max Staehnke, Annie (Tim) Strader, Suzanne (Drew) Hasian, Erich Waxler, Andy (fiance’, Shanon) Caillier, Jake, Lilly, and Erron Caillier, and Brandon and Alex Liebman; and 8 great-grandchildren: Mya, Layla, Danika, Levon, Aubrey, Adley, Clara, and Braxton. He also leaves a brother, Glenn (Edith) Staehnke of Rogers, MN; 2 sisters, Myrtle (Clarence) Ellis of Crookston, and Elaine and Donald Lange of Brooklyn Park, MN; and brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law: Karen (Ragnar) Bjornson of Middleboro, MA, Clyde (Kathy) Nelson of Karlstad, MN, and John (Margie) Nelson of Hoyt Lakes, MN; along with many nieces, nephews, and other relatives. Don was preceded in death by his parents, Harold and Florence; son-in-law, Brent Waxler; 2 grandchildren; and a sister, Gloria) Manley) Gustafson. May God bless Don's memory.

The funeral service for Donald Robert Staehnke will be held at 11:00 a.m., Monday, August 11, 2014, at the Grace Lutheran Church in Erskine, MN, with The Rev. Timothy Lundeen, officiating. Visitation will be at the Stenshoel-Houske Funeral Home on Sunday from 3-5:00 p.m., with a 5:00 p.m. prayer service, and also at the church for one hour prior to the funeral. Interment will be in the Fairview Cemetery, near Erskine, with Military Honors provided by Erskine American Legion Post #596.

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