Donald L. Tow

FAIRMONT – Services for Donald L. Tow, 88, of Fairmont, Minn., will be 10:15 a.m. Saturday, March 23, 2013, at Lakeview Funeral Home in Fairmont. Burial will be held at a later date in Lakeside Cemetery. Full military honors by the Lee C. Prentice American Legion Post 36 and the Martin County VFW Post 1222 will be conducted following the service at Lakeview Funeral Home.

Those attending will be welcome to join the family for fellowship and a lite lunch following the service.

Don passed away peacefully on March 20, 2013, at his home in Fairmont with his wife and best friend of 32 years, Kathryn, and family at his side. Visitation will begin 9 a.m. Saturday, March 23, at Lakeview Funeral Home, with Don’s large extended family there to greet friends and well-wishers.

Lakeview Funeral Home and Cremation Service of Fairmont is assisting the family with the arrangements.

Donald LeRoy Tow was born June 3, 1924, in Armstrong, Iowa, to Martin and Matilda Tow. He was the oldest of eight children and had been a lifelong resident of Fairmont. Don joined the U.S. Marine Corps in 1943 and served in the Asiatic-Pacific Theater, was wounded on the Island of Guam and received a Purple Heart. He was discharged at the rank of corporal in January 1946, after serving courageously for 31 months. Following Don’s tour of duty and his return home to Fairmont, he married Frances “Fran” Anders on Sept. 14, 1947. Don and Fran produced a family of four and enjoyed many memorable years together prior to their divorce. Fran passed away Jan. 29, 1998. Don, along with his brothers Vern and Harold, began and operated Tow Bros. Sanitation and the Martin County Landfill into the mid-1980s when the business was then sold and the brothers retired. Don married Kathryn Toye (Gilbertson) on Feb. 23, 2006, and they enjoyed many happy years together. Don enjoyed fishing and spending time with his family. He was a life member of the Lee C. Prentice American Legion Post 36 of Fairmont.

Left to cherish Don’s memory is his wife, Kathryn; his brother, James Tow of Fairmont; his son, Tom (Jennifer) Tow of Fairmont; daughters, Stephanie (Dennis) Hansen of Sandstone, Minn., Cynthia (Jim) Naleid of La Crosse, Wis., Susan (Gary) Harju of Excelsior, Minn., along with Kate’s children, Steve (Mary Ann) Gilbertson, Jim (Dawn) Gilbertson, Kristine Gilbertson, Kathy (Jerry) Sukalski, and Karen Zweifel. Don was “Grandpa” to all of his and Kate’s children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and “Uncle Don” to his nieces, nephews and all of their children. Don is also survived by his in-laws, Howard and Suzanne Smith, Clarice and Lee Larimore, Lucy and John Nickolson, Lucy Tow and Bonnie Tow.

Don is preceded in death by his parents; five of his siblings, Harold, Norma Jane, Vernon, Robert, Raymond; Don’s first wife, Frances Anders, of Fairmont; sister-in-law, Elizabeth Tow; brother-in-law, Herb Banton.

Kathryn and the family would like to express their gratitude to the Veterans Administration Hospital staff in St. James, Minn., and United Hands Hospice Care for their kindness and assistance.

Memorials may be made in Don’s name to United Hands Hospice and St. John Vianney Endowment Fund.

Condolences may be left on Donald’s online guest book at: