Don Olmstead, 91, longtime resident of Moorhead, MN, passed away at Lilac Homes, Dilworth, MN, September 3, 2022. He was a member of Christ the King Lutheran Church in Moorhead.
Donald George Olmstead, an only child, was born May 12, 1931 in Fargo, ND to George and Gene Olmstead. He was baptized and confirmed at First Lutheran Church in Fargo, ND.
At a very young age the family moved to Moorhead and Don was definitely a “Spud”, lettering in football, basketball and track. Don earned All Minnkota Conference in football and was a district champion in track. He also played American Legion Baseball for Moorhead Post 21. Don was selected to the All -State Choir and was captain of the school safety patrol. Don graduated from Moorhead High School (1949) and North Dakota State University (1956). After high school he served in the U.S. Air Force, stationed at Oscoda, Michigan Air Base as a meteorologist for their fighter squadron patrolling the Great Lakes. Don was a member of the American Legion for 67 years.
Don married Noelle Ardis Erickson of Harwood, ND in November 1954 at Blessed Sacrament Church in West Fargo, ND. Noelle passed away in 1985.
While attending NDSU, he was a member of the Bison baseball team that qualified for the NCAA tournament. He also was a member of Sigma Chi fraternity.
After graduating with a degree in business, Don was athletic director at the Fargo YMCA. Later he worked at Lutheran Welfare as an adoption case worker placing children with families in ND and MN. The family then moved to Bottineau, ND where he was the clinic manager for the Bottineau Clinic and their branch in Willow City, ND. While living in Bottineau the family had many great memories at their Metigoshe lake cabin. In 1967 the family moved back to Moorhead and Don was a salesman for H.D. Lee and Wrangler Jeans calling on retailers in ND, SD and western MN. He won many sales awards for both companies.
Don always found someone to visit with no matter where he was. His buddies at the Moorhead McDonald’s were a special group. He loved sports and followed his sons and later grandchildren traveling to football, hockey, baseball and track meets. He followed the Moorhead Spuds, Detroit Lakes Lakers and the NDSU Bison. Don loved his polka music and loved to dance. The nurses at the Fargo VA nicknamed him the “Polka King.” He enjoyed listening to and watching his Mollie B tapes. His hobbies were working in his yard, gardening, hunting and fishing. Also, the years spent at the Big Toad Lake cabin were a highlight of his summers. He also really enjoyed dogs!
Don is survived by his three sons, Steven (Dee Eckman), Moorhead, Kevin (Colleen Gibson), Baudette, and Brian (Paula Olmstead), Moorhead; five grandchildren, Brein Haugen (Pete), Portland, ND, Stephanie Olmstead, Fargo, Jeff Olmstead, Grand Forks, Paige Olmstead (Jacob Denn), Dilworth and John Olmstead, Moorhead; nine great-grandchildren and five great-great grandchildren.
Preceding him in death was his wife, Noelle, parents George and Gene Olmstead and very special companion of almost 30 years Marlene Duffney of Moorhead.
A funeral service will be held at Wright Funeral Home, Moorhead, MN, on Tuesday, September 13th at 2:00 P.M., with visitation one hour prior to the service and interment to follow at Riverside Cemetery in Fargo.