Donald John Antonson (Don) was born November 6, 1943 at home in Fremont, MN to Johnny Emmanuel Antonson and Ella Alice Bartelson. Don, age 73 of Bluffton SC, died peacefully on Friday, June 1, 2017 at Hilton Head Hospital, Hilton Head Island, SC after an 8-year battle with Multiple Myeloma.
Raised on a farm, Don graduated from Lewiston High School, Lewiston MN in 1961. In 1966, he graduated with a BS Degree in Forestry from Univ of MN. In 1994, he earned a MS Degree in Communications from the Univ of TN.
In 1962, Don and his high school sweetheart, Delores (Dee) Kay (Obitz) Antonson were married. He is survived by his wife, Dee, of 54 years; two children, Daniel (Sandy) Antonson of Manassas, VA and Angela (David) Mandigo of Hilton Head Island, SC; five grandchildren, Alex Mandigo, Kimberly (Erik) Leon, Kelsey, Hattie, and Anna Antonson; and sisters, Rose (Robert) Heim of Dover, MN and May (Darrell) Himlie of Rushford, MN. Don is preceded in death by his parents and sister, Arlene Nelson.
Don began his career in 1966 with the USDA Forest Service serving in three districts on the Santa Fe National Forest in the State of New Mexico. In 1973, he was transferred to the Cherokee National Forest District in Greeneville, TN. In 1979, he pursued a new opportunity to manage the Dale Carnegie Courses franchise in Knoxville, TN. In 1995, he became a professional truck driver for Schneider National logging over one million miles.
Upon retirement in 2007, Don helped build their retirement home in Buffalo City, WI enjoying boating and fishing on the Mississippi River with family and friends. Don loved his woodworking shop and also worked as a part-time handyman for several years. He and Dee purchased a motorhome in 2010 and traveled to many places across the U.S. In 2015, they moved to Del Webb's Sun City Hilton Head to be near their children and grandchildren.
Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m., Tuesday, June 6, 2017 at Rushford Lutheran Church with Reverend Roger Michaelson officiating. Visitation will be from 5-7 p.m., Monday, June 5, 2017 at Hoff Funeral Home in Rushford and one hour prior to the service at the church. Interment will be at 10 a.m., Wednesday, June 7, 2017 at St. John's Cemetery, Lewiston, MN. Please share a memory of Don and view his video tribute when it becomes available at www.hofffuneral.com. Hoff Funeral and Cremation Service, Lewiston, is assisting the family.
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Donnie, as I always called him was a nearby neighbor on Fremont Street. I enjoyed many hours at the Antonson home with Donnie and his sisters. Later we both attended the University of Minnesota and had occasion to communicate once again. I have very special memories of Don, his wife Dee and the times we were together in Minnesota. Mary Fischer Lindell
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