Donald Jerome Straw was born to Aaron Emil and Bertha Lillian (Thompson) Straw on May 5, 1927 in Jasper, MN where he was raised and attended school. After he completed his sophomore year in high school, he moved to Redmond, WA. While living there, he worked full-time in the shipyard and completed his junior year in high school. He then returned to Jasper and finished his high school education. On March 14, 1945, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy and was stationed at the Marine Base in Oceanside, CA as a Hospital Apprentice 2nd Class Surgical Technician. Later that same year, he was transferred to the Long Beach Naval Hospital where he worked in the surgical unit. On March 16, 1946, he was honorably discharged from the service and moved to Worthington, MN to attend Worthington Junior College. After he received his Associate in Arts Degree in Business Administration, he continued his education at Stout State College in Menomonie, WI and attained his Bachelor of Science Degree in Industrial Arts. On June 12, 1950, he was united in marriage to Elaine Speicher in Ashland, WI. Following their marriage, they moved to Canby, MN where Don taught industrial arts and coached football and basketball. During this time, he also received his Master's Degree. While living in Canby, Don volunteered to help build the Methodist Church. In 1955, they moved to Ashland where Don continued to teach for 32 years until his retirement. He also volunteered for Habitat for Humanity in 1989 and traveled to Paducah, KY and Coahoma, MS to build homes for those in need. In 1990, he moved back to Jasper where he owned and operated the Three Straw Café. On December 26, 1993, he was united in marriage to Donna Aubert in Iona, SD. Following their marriage, they lived in Pipestone, MN. During the 1990s, Don purchased the storage units in Jasper and eventually sold the Three Straw Cafe. He also built a cabinet shop behind the garages and kept busy doing carpentry and handyman jobs for the residents of Jasper. Recently Donny was diagnosed with cancer and after a decline in health, entered the care of the Pipestone County Hospice House on Thursday, December 31, 2020. He passed away that same day at the age of 93 years, seven months, and 26 days.
Don attended Peace United Methodist Church in Pipestone. He was also a member of the Oscar Iverson American Legion Post in Jasper. He was an avid gun collector and his collection included several collector hand guns. He also repaired guns for people in the area. He enjoyed collecting coins, and he enjoyed cooking and sharing his meals with others. Donny was a real workaholic.
He is lovingly remembered by his wife, Donna Straw of Pipestone, MN; two children, Sue (Robert) Reader of Ashland, WI, and John (Melissa) Straw of Schofield, WI; two stepsons, Brian (Valinda) Aubert of Pipestone, and Gregory (Patti) Aubert of Sauk Rapids, MN; four grandchildren; three step-grandchildren; and three step-great-grandchildren; and one sister, Kay (Arlen) Skorr of Mankato, MN. He was preceded in death by his parents; one grandson, Aaron Aubert; one step-great-granddaughter, Ceona Mitchell; and one sister, Jacquelyn Reverts.
Memorial service will be held on Wednesday, January 6, 2021 at 11:00 AM at the Jasper Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jasper with a visitation to be held one hour prior from 10:00 AM – 11:00 AM. Burial will be in the Jasper City Cemetery in Jasper following the service. Arrangements have been entrusted to the Hartquist Funeral Home - Pipestone Chapel.