Donald E. Rakstad, 82, of Winona, died Thursday, December 25, 2008, at St. Mary’s Hospital, Rochester, MN. Don was born in Houston, MN, on November 30, 1926, the son of Benard and Cora (Highlen) Rakstad.
Don is a lifelong resident of the area. On July 14, 1951, he was united in marriage to Delores Bergler at St. Matthew’s Ev. Lutheran Church, Winona.
Don operated a dairy farm on Gilmore Ridge for many years, retiring in 1992 when he sold his dairy cows. He belonged to a square dance club, enjoyed travel, playing cards, farm auctions, sales barns and was also a member of the Winona County Old Settlers Association.
He served in the U.S. Army during World War II and was a part of the army of occupation of Japan.
Donald is survived by his wife of 57 years, Delores; daughter, Rebecca (William) Mitchener, Red Wing, MN, and a son, Randy (Billye Jean) Rakstad, Winona. Five grandchildren, Chelsey and Lindsey Mitchener of Red Wing, MN, Brandon Rakstad, Winona, Angela (Matthew) Bambenek, Fountain City, WI, and Ryan Rakstad, Sioux Falls, SD. Also one great-grandson, Tucker Bambenek. A sister, LaVerne (Alvin) Bakke, Rushford, MN. He was preceded in death by his parents.
Funeral services for Don will be on Monday, December 29, 2008, at 11:00AM at St. Matthew’s Ev. Lutheran Church, Winona, with Revs. Paul Welke and James Nelson officiating. Interment will follow at Woodlawn Cemetery in Winona, where members of American Legion Post #9 will conduct military burial honors.
Friends may call on Sunday from 3-5PM at the Fawcett-Junker Funeral Home and then on Monday from 10-11AM at the church.
Casket bearers will be Matthew Bambenek, Brandon and Ryan Rakstad, Chelsey and Lindsey Mitchener, Gary and Kenneth Bergler and Jerry Klein. Honorary bearer will be Angela Bambenek.
Services entrusted to Fawcett-Junker Funeral Home and Cremation Services of Winona.
Words of sympathy and remembrance may be left at www.fawcett-junkerfuneralhome.com