Donald W. Haff


5/5/1927 to 10/14/2021Don was an active man who loved improving things. He was truly a “Jack of all trades” and could do carpentry to mechanics, rebuilding cars and lawnmowers to roofing and remodeling. He loved hunting deer, antelope and elk and was sure to spend the autumn in Montana at his cabin with MN friends hunting and revisiting past adventures. As the son of a logger, he learned that too and spent two months one winter logging some of his property in MT with his son-in-law and two stalwart Percheron. He also earned his pilot’s license and flew his Super Cub plane “Sweetie”, for the Civil Air Patrol and trips to Canada fishing.  He loved baseball and played in high school and “Old Timers.”

Don grew up in the Merrifield area of MN attending Lake Edward School and Brainerd High School. He cut his education short & joined the Navy at 17. Assigned to the USS Clinton, his first battle was Okinawa, defending the ship with an anti-aircraft gun against Kamikazes.

After WWII, Don was honorably discharged, returned home, earned his GED and married Alpha Gunderson Getty Oct. 21, 1946. He joined Local 126 Plumbers & Pipefitters Union in 1957 and worked on the Cuyuna Iron Range for several years. In 1959 he and his wife purchased the Y-Store in Merrifield which they operated until 1970. They also purchased the Ace Station in Pine River, MN 1963 which they operated until they sold it in 1975 shortly after Alpha’s passing. He continued to work on power plants through the union in MN and ND until his retirement.

Don married Nancy Swendsen-Andersen Feb. 27, 1987 and resided with his wife in Sandpoint, ID. He and Nancy spent many summers in Merrifield, MN until selling their home on Lake Edward. They purchased a home in Happy Trails RV Park in Surprise, AZ where they enjoyed many winters of fine weather and the community of other retirees. Don passed peacefully in his sleep in their Sandpoint home with family by his side.

Don was preceded in death by his parents, his wife, Alpha, two brothers William Haff, Ralph (Bud) Keller, and sister and Carolyn Keller. He is survived by his wife, Nancy, sisters Patricia Haff and Sandra Haff son William Getty of Winona, MN, and daughters Barbara Peterson of Crosby, MN; Margalene Hartman of Prescott, AZ; Corlene Bartels of Lyons, WI; Pam Tennant of Cochrane, Alb., Can; Tracy Olson of Hope, ID; Shelley Healy of Sandpoint, ID; 22 grandchildren and 14 great grandchildren.

Graveside services will be held in the spring.