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Donald Menssen

Obituary of Donald Menssen

After a courageous battle with cancer and covid, Donald Ray Menssen passed away Monday, October 18, 2021 at St. Mary’s Hospital in Rochester, MN with his wife and sons by his side. Graveside services to be held at 11:00 am, Saturday, October 23, 2021 at East Sveadahl Lutheran Cemetery rural St. James with Rev. Mandy France officiating and Military Honors provided by the St. James Veterans Honor Guard. Donald Ray Menssen was born November 29th, 1935 to Frieda (Grund) and Cornelious Menssen. He grew up on a farm near Butterfield and graduated from Butterfield High School in 1953. He served in the National Guard and attended Dunwoody in the Twin Cities for Contracting and Construction Management. He moved back to St. James and partnered with a couple contractors before venturing out on his own and forming Menssen Construction. He was extremely talented in the construction trade and woodworking and he drew up all of his house or building plans by hand. Over the years, Don built or remodeled over 100 homes and businesses in the St. James area, including remodel of the Legion Club and rebuild of VFW and Eagles Club. Along with construction, in 1987 he built a turkey barn on his property and raised turkeys for over 25 years. Don was on the St. James fire department and served on many church boards at East Sveadahl. He shared his love of the outdoors with his sons and there are many hunting and fishing stories to tell. This love has been passed down to his grandchildren and great grandchildren as well. Although he never played sports in high school, he loved watching all of his kids and grandkids participate in athletic events thru their careers. He was their number one fan in the stands and rarely missed an event. Donald fell in love and married Mary Ann Engel on June 25th, 1961. In June, 2021, they celebrated their 60th Wedding Anniversary with a special family dinner. They raised three sons and opened their hearts and home to many foster children. Don and Mary Ann loved to travel and enjoyed many trips across the country as well as two trips to Germany to visit relatives. They loved to get out of the MN cold and spend their winters in Mission, TX. They traveled south for 15 years and developed many lifelong friendships with their Texas family. Don is survived by his wife of 60 years, Mary Ann, Sons Gary (Sharon), Michael, Billy (Melanie) all of St. James. Two sisters, Darlene Ebbenga of Butterfield and Gayle McCleod of Sioux Falls, SD. Three sister-in-law’s, Beverly Menssen of St. James, Helen Menssen of Welcome and Jenny Menssen of Esterville, IA. Six grand kids, Christopher (Marissa), Brandon (Karen), Ryan (special friend Emily), Dustin, Anna (Gonzalo), Racheal (special friend Ryan), and 9 great grand kids, Stratton, Brek, Adler, Natalie, Hunter, Dakota, Gavin, Grayson and Aviana Rose. He is proceeded in death by his parents, four brothers and a sister, two brother-in-law’s and twin great granddaughters. Memorials can be sent to the American Cancer Society or East Sveadahl Church.
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Saturday
23
October

Service Information

11:00 am
Saturday, October 23, 2021
East Sveadahl Lutheran Cemetery
30187 710th ave.
Saint James, Minnesota, United States

Interment Information

East Sveadahl Lutheran Cemetery
30187 710th ave.
Saint James, Minnesota, United States