Donald Skimland, 84, Albert Lea

Published 9:21 am Friday, January 25, 2013

Donald James Skimland, age 84 of Albert Lea, passed away on Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2013, at Mayo Clinic Health System in Albert Lea. A celebration of life will be at the family lake home in the spring. Military honors accorded by area veterans groups.

Donald Skimland

Donald was born on April 10, 1928, to Magnus and Eva (Sund) Skimland in Belgrade. He graduated from Belgrade High School in 1946 and attended Augsburg College. Don served in the Army in Japan towards the end of World War II and on March 6, 1954, he was united in marriage to Donna Marie Eckstein in Minneapolis at Central Lutheran Church. Together they raised four children.

Don and the family lived in Minneapolis where he worked on the Minneapolis & St. Louis and Chicago & North Western railroads and owned a furniture business. In 1960 they moved to Belgrade where they spent two years before moving to Crystal in 1962. In 1966 the family moved and settled in Albert Lea. Don retired from the railroad in 1978.

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Don and Donna traveled extensively in the U.S. and visited Europe. They spent winters in Texas on South Padre Island and lived at the lake home in Sunburg in the summer months. In 2011 they returned to Albert Lea and resided at Senior Court. He enjoyed bowling, ballroom dancing, watching sports, fishing, walking, playing billiards with friends at the Senior Center, mornings at McDonalds and reading. Don was a very generous man with his time and talents and would help anyone in need. He was very proud of his Honor Flight in 2010 when he flew out to tour Washington, D.C. He also enjoyed volunteering as a driver for Senior Resources.

Don is preceded in death by his parents; wife, Donna; brothers, Elwood and Harvey; and sister, Beverly.

He is survived by his children, Nancy (Gary) Peterson of Albert Lea, Jeff Skimland of Albert Lea, Cindy (Brad) Hegwood of Albert Lea, and Jill (Curt) Clarambeau of Albert Lea; grandchildren, Jeremy Lau, Tyler Hegwood, Evan Hegwood, Anna Petersen, Dan Petersen; step-grandchildren Acacia Clarambeau and Cassie (Adam) Larson; great-grandchildren Ethan Lau, Grace Lau; sisters, Claudette Miner of Willmar and Patty (Jack) Nicholson of Minneapolis; family friend, Ulla Anderson of Sunburg; nieces and nephews; and other loving relatives and friends.

Don was a wonderful husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, uncle, brother and friend. He will be deeply missed.