Donald (Don) Ray DeRosier was born Oct. 13, 1946, in New Richmond. He grew up in Osceola, enjoying a career as a standout wrestler, basketball enthusiast, and occasional minor delinquent – if Don hadn’t skipped out of a catholic retreat in River Falls in 1962, he may not have met his future wife of 54 years, who incidentally was doing the same thing. Introducing himself to Nancy Belisle with a punch to the arm, Don set in motion a life that would be filled with love and excitement. Don and Nancy were married June 3, 1967.
Following high school, Don attended flight school in Tulsa, Okla., where he graduated with a commercial pilots’ license. Although a town kid, Don’s true passion was always farming. In 1971, he purchased his first farm in New Richmond. Through many trials and tribulations, including a devastating barn fire that took everything, Don forged ahead in the dairy industry. In 1989, he was able to purchase a farm in East Farmington and move his cows there. Although he eventually sold the cows to his son, Troy, he continued to raise organic crops until the time of his death. A serial entrepreneur, Don also started many successful businesses during this time including a limestone quarry, a sawdust bedding company, and a senior living/assisted living facility built on the grounds of his childhood home.
Don had a charismatic personality, a knack for telling jokes, and an easy smile. He enjoyed attending coffee every morning to visit with friends, helping out on his son’s farm and his daughter’s farm, fishing, golfing, and supporting his grandkids at performances or sporting events. For 23 years, he wintered in Arizona where he golfed often, 4-wheeled in the desert and mountains, and met many dear friends.
Don died Aug. 25, 2021, surrounded by family.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Olga and Ray DeRosier, and his sister, Mary Madding.
He is survived by his wife, Nancy, children Troy (Barb Beskar), Holly (Doug) Getschel, Brandon (Billie Larson), and Dustin (Mendè Michaud); grandchildren, Brett Getschel, Cody (Jessi Dercks) Getschel, Mykayla (Trent) Dado, Kristi Getschel, Jared DeRosier, Jordan DeRosier, Samantha (Shelby) Breedlove, Damin DeRosier, Alex DeRosier, Ella DeRosier, Griffin DeRosier, and Wyatt DeRosier; three great-granddaughters; his brother, Dennis (Luanne) DeRosier; and many others.
Although gone, Don’s love, legacy, and one-liner jokes will live on for generations to come.
A celebration of life will be Sept. 2, at 12 p.m. at St. Anne’s Church in Somerset, with a visitation starting at 10 a.m.
A luncheon will follow the service at Ready Randy’s in New Richmond.