Donald Raymond Eisfeld
August 2, 1951 - November 24, 2017
Donald Raymond Eisfeld was born on August 2, 1951 on a family farm five miles north of Lake Wilson, MN. His early influences growing up on the Cameron Township farmstead would touch nearly every aspect of his life as an adult. In addition to raising livestock and growing field crops, his parents Raymond and Lorna were avid gardeners. They sent him to country school in the mid-1950s and brought him every Sunday to the Lake Sarah Baptist Church to worship. Before the decade was out, the family invested in their first television set, which allowed Don -- between episodes of his favorite Westerns -- to follow the escapades of the television’s first canine hero, a German Shepherd named Rin Tin Tin. Within a few years, the Washington Senators became the Minnesota Twins, the expansion Vikings began play and Don would spend his teens helping out on the farm, playing high school sports and developing allegiances to the two clubs that called “The Met” in Bloomington their home. Just before the 70s would begin, he graduated a proud Raider, along with the rest of the Lake Wilson Class of ‘69. He then spent two years at Southwest State University in Marshall before joining a Champion Homes building crew – “rough carpentry” as he called it – where, in three-days time, his team would put up pre-fabricated homes from town-to-town throughout the upper Midwest. Later, Don joined Solar Gas in Slayton as a deliveryman, helping families throughout the county brave some of the coldest winters in state history during the 1970s. It was during his time in Slayton where he would meet Dawn Mohr, a local girl whose parents managed The Downstairs, a restaurant he frequented after his long days at work The two would marry in June of 1976, would have four children over the next nine years and then settled in their acreage on the western edge of Avoca, where they would spend the better part of the next four decades. Don spent his prime years in Avoca with his wife, Dawn, raising their four children, breeding German Shepherds and engineering what was undoubtedly one of the largest and most diverse vegetable gardens in all of Murray County. He was an avid and excellent cook. He canned tomatoes, beans, pickles and beets, dedicating an entire ‘Ball Jar’ Wall in the basement to the cause. There remains little doubt that his canned dill pickles will live on in family lore. The German Shepherds he bred may not have ended up as stars of a Hollywood drama but they did end up in the homes of people from as far away as South Dakota, Iowa and Wisconsin. He cheered passionately and later on, perhaps cynically, for the Purple & Gold, through all four Super Bowl losses as well as five defeats in NFC championship games. While grilling on a deck he built himself, his radio dial was set each and every summer night to 1580 AM, KDOM out of Worthington, where he religiously followed the Twins. In his later years, he would spend hours perusing the HSN & QVC home shopping networks, which helped him hone a unique talent for finding gifts for loved ones they never knew they needed but could not then live without. Don was a good man, a better dad and a dedicated and loving husband. He passed away on November 24, 2017 in Sioux Falls, SD.
He is survived by his wife of forty-one years, Dawn Eisfeld (Avoca, MN); four children, Amie Eisfeld-Fenney and her spouse Curtis Fenney (Madison, WI), Joe Eisfeld (Slayton, MN), Dana Eisfeld and his spouse Ilhan Duale Eisfeld (St. Paul, MN), Amber Eisfeld (St. Paul, MN); a brother, Bob Eisfeld and his wife Jo Ann (Lake Wilson, MN); two nephews, Roger Eisfeld and his wife Gay (Slayton, MN), and Richard Eisfeld (Sauk Rapids, MN); a brother-in-law, Bruce Huibregtse (Fort Collins, CO) and, not to be forgotten, his German Shepherd Sammy (Avoca, MN). He was preceded in death by his grandparents, Walter and Anna Widboom Anderson & Carl and Ida Gernentz Eisfeld; his parents, Lorna and Raymond Eisfeld; and his sister, Linda Huibregtse.
Funeral Services will be held at Lake Sarah Baptist Church in rural Slayton, MN on Wednesday, November 29, 2017 at 10:30 a.m. with Rev. John Lassen officiating. The organist is Jeremy Van Dyke with special music by Penny Peterson The pallbearers are Isaac Schutz, Roger Eisfeld, Stacie Freeberg, Curtis Fenney, Brandon Bryson and Dale Kalas. Interment is at Lake Sarah Baptist Cemetery in rural Slayton, MN.
Visitation will be on Tuesday, November 28, 2017 at the Totzke Funeral Home in Slayton from 4-6 p.m. and also one hour prior to the services at the church on Wednesday. To send condolences visit totzkefuneralhome.com