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home : obituaries : obituaries August 16, 2017

4/5/2017 2:22:00 PM
Donald Glen Van Norman

Donald Glen Van Norman (aged 87) passed peacefully from this earth on March 25, 2017, with Millie, his loving wife of 65 years, by his side.
Don, as he was known by family and friends, was born on June 23, 1929, to Glenn and Julia Van Norman in Windom. Don was the oldest of five children and graduated from Windom High School in 1948.
He spent some time in Minneapolis before enlisting in the Minnesota Army National Guard and being sent to Fort Rucker, Ala.
It was in Alabama that he met the former Mildred Isler in 1951. They married in the base chapel and Donnie returned to Windom, bringing his bride with him.
Don worked at the Windom Post Office for many years as he and Millie raised their five children.
He enjoyed singing and was a member of both Chordhustlers and the Men's Chorus of the American Lutheran Church. He spent leisure time building things ranging from handmade rocking horses to home additions.
Don had an off-beat sense of humor and proudly kept clippings of the silly puns he made up and got published in local newspapers. He was a voracious puzzle-solver and usually had at least one crossword puzzle nearby at all times.
While Don had little formal education beyond high school, he had a keen, inquisitive mind and became a member of Mensa.
Once their youngest child graduated from high school and Don retired from the Post Office, Don and Millie spent several years traveling in their Airstream before settling down in Panama City, Fla. Don found his niche there rehabbing homes and creating many new things as part of "Don's Designs." He sang in the church choir and spent many afternoons at the local senior center.
While he made many new friends in Panama City, Don especially enjoyed visits with Windomites, who frequently spent winters in the warmth of Florida.
A man of deep faith, Don found great comfort in listening to hymns and gospel music once his illness prevented him from attending church.
Don was preceded in death by his parents; by his youngest brother, Neal Van Norman; by his oldest son, Larry; and by his oldest granddaughter, Patty Sue.
Left to mourn his passing are Don's wife, Millie; brothers, Duane (JoAnn) and Lee Van Norman; sister, Lois (Jerry) Ahrens; daughters, Pat Woods of Memphis and Heather Van Norman of New Orleans; sons, Alan (Kim) of Bismark, N.D.; and Mark of Panama City, Fla.; six grandchildren; five great grandchildren; and a host of cousins, nieces, nephews and friends.
According to Don's plans and wishes, the family will host a celebration of his life on June 24, 2017, in Windom. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that any donations be made either to Habitat for Humanity or Covenant Hospice.

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