Donald Zylstra, age 94, passed away peacefully on Tuesday, November 5, 2019. Donald was born on April 15, 1925 in Ashton, Iowa, the son of August and Lena (Douma) Zylstra.
When Don was only 1 1/2 years old, when the family moved to Montana. He attended two country schools and later went to a town school in Manhattan, MT where he finished the 8th grade. In 1939 they relocated in Edgerton, MN, where Don worked on the farm with his father. They moved briefly to Holland, MN, and then Don's father purchased the farm that Don now owns and where he lived the majority of his adult life. At age 17, Don began working at a packing plant in Sioux Falls just for the winter months and the next winter he worked at Roetman Lockers in Edgerton. He started his custom baling business at this time and continued to do custom work along with farming for more than 60 years. Don and Arlyn farmed together like Don had with his father.
On April 5, 1948 Don married Anna Marie Den Ouden. They lived in or near Edgerton for a few years and their son, Arlyn, was born in Feb. 1949. In December 1951 the Zylstras packed up Don's 1949 Studebaker pickup and moved to California where Don briefly worked at the Douglas Aircraft Factory. They moved back to Edgerton in April 1952 and 15 days later their first daughter, Marlene, was born. That fall they moved to the Seldon farm and lived there for 7 years. Connie was born in November 1957. Two years later Don purchased "Grandpa's farm" and he and Anna Marie raised their family there. Don became a resident of Ridgeview Assisted Living in May 2018 and lived there almost a year before entering the Good Samaritan Nursing Home, both located in Pipestone. He became quite dependent on his red Rascal and "scooted" around everywhere.
Don knew people from all around the country and would talk to anyone that would listen. He had an unbelievable memory and kept those around him smiling by telling stories. Don was a "wheeler dealer" and loved to buy things and turn around and sell them for a profit. He sold livestock equipment for more than 40 years. Some of his favorite purchases were his cars, many of which were convertibles to be used as parade cars. He often took the Dairy Princesses or some other "local royalty" through the parade route and at age 92, he participated in 18 parades. Don would attach a set of horns on the hood and become the Boss Hog of the area.
Don is survived by his second wife, Ann, whom he married in December of 1983. Also survived by his son Arlyn (Shirlene) Zylstra, Jasper, MN and daughters, Marlene (Dave) Jueneman, Buckeye AZ and Connie (Mark) Noll, Iowa Falls, IA, 5 grandchildren, Jodi Hallstrom, Janelle Kelly, Angela Noll, Amy Noll and Andrew Noll and 5 great grandchildren, Ben Foley, Jordan Kelly, Katelyn Kelly, Nora Noll and Owen Noll and one nephew, Sidney Zylstra. Others surviving are Ann's children Gerrit (Tammy) Slegers, Karen (Danny) Moore, Hubert (Angela) Slegers and Ardyth Little. He was preceded in death by his first wife, Anna Marie, granddaughter, Deanna Zylstra, his parents, brother, Johnny Zylstra and sister, Helen Tinklenberg.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to Compassionate Care Hospice in Worthington.
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Compassionate Care Hospice
31361 State Hwy 266, Worthington MN 56187