Donald D. Hillquist

HUNTLEY – A Celebration of Life service for Donald D. Hillquist, 75, of Huntley, will be 11 a.m. Monday, May 13, 2013, at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Winnebago, with Fr. Mark McNea officiating.

Donald died Tuesday, May 7, 2013, at St. Luke’s Lutheran Care.

Visitation will be 5-8 p.m. Sunday, May 12, 2013, at Spencer Owen Funeral Home in Winnebago, and one hour prior to the service Monday at the church in Winnebago. A funeral service will be held 11 a.m. Tuesday, May 14, 2013, at Trinity Lutheran Church in Balaton, Minn., with Rev. Steven Quist officiating. A second visitation will be 5-7 p.m. Monday, May 13, 2013, at Almlie Funeral Home in Balaton, Minn., and one hour prior to the service Tuesday at the church in Balaton. Burial will be in Trinity Lutheran Cemetery, Balaton, Minn.

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Donald David Hillquist was born Feb. 5, 1938, in Tracy, Minn., to David Hillquist and Evelyn (Holm) Hillquist. He was baptized and confirmed at Trinity Lutheran and remained a lifelong member. Don grew up in a loving and caring family with some strong family and Swedish traditions. He particularly loved Christmas at Grandmother and Grandfather Holm’s, with the reading of Christ’s birth and the lutefisk, korfe and rice pudding. After the grandparents were gone, his mother continued the traditions, and then his sisters Carolyn and Jane. He attended school in Balaton, Minn., participating in music, football, basketball and track, graduating in 1956. Don had many fond memories of both his classmates and team members, all of whom he thought of very highly. He was impacted by many great teachers, including Merril Peterson, from whom he received his love of history, and Esther Helmke, who was not only a public school teacher but also his Bible school teacher. Many ministers with whom he had contact also greatly impacted Don’s life. Following high school graduation, Don attended Mankato State University, majoring in social studies with a minor in English. Graduating in 1960, Don was named one of the top 27 seniors scholastically and 1 of 5 within the Social Studies department. He later went on to obtain both a master’s degree and specialist degree in school administration from MSU. His teaching career in social studies began in 1960 in Gibbon, Minn., where he also coached football, intramural basketball and declamation. In 1966, he moved to Windom, Minn., where he taught history and English and was part of the football coaching staff. It was there he met his wife Patricia, who was also a teacher. The couple was married Dec. 23, 1967, at St. Leo’s Catholic Church in Pipestone, Minn. In 1970, the couple moved to South St. Paul and Patricia taught English in Hastings while Don attended graduate school. The couple then moved to Huntley in 1971, when Don became principal of Granada Huntley High School. Don served as principal until 1984, when he decided to return to the classroom. Health issues forced him to retire from education in 1995 after 35 years in the field. Don was truly committed to education and fervently believed it could have a significantly positive impact on people’s lives. His knowledge and understanding of history and politics and its impact on the world today was amazing. He loved his children and grandchildren immensely and thoroughly enjoyed watching and discussing sports with both of his sons-in-law.

Don is survived by his wife Patricia; children, Christina Dahl (Andy) of Winnebago and Kimberly Olson (Aaron) of Shakopee; grandchildren, Emma, Noah, Kaden and Logan; sisters, Carolyn Lustfield (Orlin) of Balaton and Jane Fenicle (Denny) of Ruthton; aunt, Eleanor Schwanebeck of Tyler; sisters-in-law, Diane Fjellanger (Lyle) of Sherman, S.D., and Dawn Mayse of Pipestone, Minn.; and brother-in-law, Michael Mayse of Lakewood, Col., and numerous cousins, nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his grandparents; parents, David and Evelyn Hillquist; and many aunts, uncles, cousins and friends.