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Donald Arvene Billman
January 31, 1927 ~ April 28, 2023 (age 96) 96 Years Old
Donald Arvene Billman, 96 years old, passed away peacefully April 28, 2023, at Homestead LTC in Rochester, MN, where he had been residing for the last two years.
Donald was born on January 31, 1927 in Howard County, Iowa to Elmer H. and Anna L. (King) Billman. He lived most of his early years in Spring Valley, MN, graduating from Spring Valley High School in 1945. Don left school when he turned 18 in 1945 to enlist in the U.S. Navy. He served as Seaman First Class on the U.S.S. Guam in the South Pacific and participated in the liberating of Korea during W.W. II. Following his Naval service he was employed for 13 years with Standard Oil Company in the pipeline division. He worked as a pipeliner, warehouse manager and District clerk. He then worked for the Woodruff Plumbing and Heating Wholesale Supply Company of Rochester, MN as an office and credit manager, retiring after 29 years.
On November 20, 1948, he married Pauline L. Klingsporn, they had 62 years together before Pauline’s passing in April of 2010. They spent their early years in Spring Valley, MN and Rochester, MN. In 1963 they realized their dream of owning a farm which was located in the rural Eyota, MN area, then moved from the farm to a home in Chatfield, MN, in 1993. In their later years they moved to Realife Cooperative Senior Community in Rochester, MN.
Don was a 50+ year member of the Masonic Lodge reaching 32nd degree Scottish Rite; longtime member of Legion post 197, VFW post 6913 and Chatfield Lutheran Church.
He was an active member in these organizations, holding various offices in each through the years.
He enjoyed farming and raising Hereford cattle. He loved playing cribbage, pool and Euchre. Fishing, especially on Lake Vermilion with his brother-in-law, Bob, was always a great time as well as fishing in Mill Creek with his grandchildren. He was an avid reader especially of American history and Presidential biographies. Don loved a good conversation and could speak on many subjects. He engaged with people of all ages, making many lifelong friendships. His greatest love was his family. He had a strong bond with his parents, brothers and sisters. As the family grew his friendship encompassed numerous nieces and nephews and their families. His children and grandchildren enjoyed together many a family gathering celebrating birthday’s, anniversaries, holiday’s and “just because” get-togethers.
Survivors include daughters, Cindy (Steve) Reese of Rochester, MN, Teresa Smallen of Montgomery, MN; brother, Larry (Janice) Billman of Chatfield, MN; daughter-in-law, Diane Billman of Eagan, MN; grandchildren, Tony (Jess) Billman, Christina (Todd) Schneiderhan, Laura Billman, Kelly (Adrien) Carretero, Whitney (Trevor) Davine, Ryan (Ashle) Smallen; 5 great-grandson’s, 3 step great-grandchildren, 2 step great-great grandchildren and numerous nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Pauline; a son, Rick; son-in-law, Tim; his parents; 3 sisters and 3 brothers; 3 brothers-in-law; and 3 sisters-in-law.
The family wish to thank the staff of Homestead LTC that cared for Don these past two years and the compassionate care by the Mayo Hospice team these past couple of months.
The family suggests memorial gifts to The Chatfield Lutheran Church of Chatfield, MN, Mayo Clinic Hospice team or a charity of your choice.
Memorial Service for Don will be 12 p.m. on Saturday, May 20, 2023, at Chatfield Lutheran Church, in Chatfield. Visitation will be one hour before the service at the church. Burial will be in the Chatfield Cemetery, with Military Honors by the Chatfield VFW Giese Kelsey Post #6913.
Riley Funeral Home & Cremation Service is assisting the Billman family with arrangements. Online condolences are welcome at rileyfuneralhomes.com