Donald Louis Veeder, age 101, died 14 November 2020. Because of COVID restrictions, a private graveside service will occur at a later date.
A lifelong resident of Sauk Centre, Donald was born 11 July 1919 in Getty Township, Stearns County, MN to Harry and Rose (Jager) Veeder. After graduating from Stearns County District 82 country school, Donald’s formal education was thwarted by the Great Depression and World War II.
He fondly recalled enlisting in the Minnesota National Guard when he was 16, and his six-month enlistment in the Civilian Conservation Corps, stationed near Bena, MN during 1936-7.
Called to active military duty a year before Pearl Harbor was bombed, he was assigned to an anti-aircraft company on the West Coast. Donald eventually served in Europe during World War II with the 82nd Airborne Division.
Returning to Sauk Centre in 1946 with his glider wings, a Bronze Star, Combat Infantry Badge, five battle stars and numerous other decorations, Donald was working as a mechanic for the Minnesota National Guard when he marred the love of his life, Carlene Wongstrom, 5 September 1950.
Recalled to active duty with the 47th Infantry Division during the Korean Conflict, the couple was stationed in Alabama, where their first child died due to congenital issues.
They raised four more children after returning to Sauk Centre. Donald continued to work as a mechanic for the National Guard, retiring as a First Sergeant in 1975 after four decades of military service. He devoted his remaining years to volunteering, travel and his extensive gardens.
A Life Member of the VFW, Donald served as Post 2853 Commander, as well as Minnesota’s 6th District Commander. An active member of the Sauk Centre Senior Citizens, Donald volunteered countless hours for friends and family, Meals on Wheels, served on the Troop 25 Boy Scout Council, and was president and deacon of the 1st United Church. In 2004, he was named Outstanding Senior of Stearns County.
Survivors include his wife Carlene; daughters Debrah, Pamela, Brenda, son Douglas, and sister Dorothy Wolfe.
Donald was preceded in death by his parents, infant son Donald Jr., sisters Lorraine Hendrickson and Betty Strong, and brothers Raymond and Russell.