Donald ‘Iron-Hand’ Barfknecht

TRUMAN – Funeral services for Donald R. Barfknecht, 81, of Truman, Minn., will be held 11 a.m. Tuesday, Sept. 2, 2014, at Trinity Lutheran Church, Truman. Interment will take place in Ridgelawn Memorial Park, Truman.

Donald died Friday, Aug. 29, 2014, at Lakeview Methodist Health Care Center in Fairmont. Visitation will be 9-11 a.m. Tuesday, Sept. 2, 2014, at Trinity Lutheran Church in Truman. Zaharia Family Funeral and Cremation Service of Truman assisted the family with arrangements.

Donald Ray Barfknecht was born March 28, 1933, to Walter and Esther (Becke) Barfknecht. He was baptized, confirmed, and graduated high school in Winthrop, Minn. He met the love of his life, Muriel, at Luther League. They discovered that their fathers had the same first name. This relationship blossomed and they were united in marriage on Sept. 30, 1953. At this time, Donald joined the U.S. Army and was stationed in Alaska for two years, where he learned to pan for gold. After his discharge, Donald and Muriel made their homes in Gaylord and Winthrop, Minn., before moving to Truman in 1959. During their marriage, they were blessed with four children:?Connie, Michael, Kari and Cathi. Muriel became our guardian angel in 2012. Donald was active on the Truman Fire Department and became an honorary fireman. He looked forward to parades and dressing up as a clown, while driving the fire trucks and handing out candy. Donald and Muriel attended several firemen’s conventions throughout Minnesota. Donald was also a member of the Truman American Legion Post 115, and Color Guard. Donald was employed at TFE (Truman Farmers Elevator), where he drove bulk truck and delivered feed to area farmers. He always kept an ample supply of suckers in his truck for the little children on his routes and greeted them with his signature” fishing handshake.” He was known by many as “Iron-Hand.” In spite of his handicap of only having one hand, he became the pitcher for a slow-pitch softball team, and was on a bowling league. His true passion was card playing, listening and dancing to old time music. Donald took pride in requesting a waltz or polka to his favorite radio station for birthdays and anniversaries. He was a master card player at 500, Pinochle and cribbage. He was also known for jokes and storytelling that would entertain family and friends for hours. He was an avid hunter for wild mushrooms and asparagus, and knew the best places to find them. His favorite TV shows were wrestling, Bandwagon and game shows.

Left to cherish his memory are: his children, Connie (Kevin) Hiller-Byro, Michael (Marci) Barfknecht, Kari (Shane) Diekmann, and Cathi Barfknecht; grandchildren, Christopher Hiller, Shauna Hiller and fiance, Craig Putzy, Calvin Barfknecht, Caci (Chad) Hoffman, Tyler Heine and special friend, Samantha Hays, Andrea (Eric) Charlier; great-grandson, Christian Hiller; one step-grandson, Cody Diekmann; brothers, Demar (Deloris) Barfknecht, Arlan (Sue) Barfknecht; sister, Jean Stadtherr; sisters-in-law, Marlys Seil, Diana Barfknecht, Janice Hazen, and Donna (Charles) Bastian; brothers-in-law, Wally Kempfert, and Dennis Stiller; and special family friend, Heidi Brooks.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Muriel; parents, Walter and Esther Barfknecht; son-in-law, Kenneth Hiller; brothers, Dale and Daryl; brothers-in-law, James Stadtherr, Richard Hazen; sisters-in-law, Carol Kempfert, Shirley Stiller; and other loved ones.