Don E. HjelmsethDon Erwin Hjelmseth, 78, Missoula, Mont., died peacefully surrounded by his wife and three children at home on Sunday, Jan. 27.
Don Erwin Hjelmseth, 78, Missoula, Mont., died peacefully surrounded by his wife and three children at home on Sunday, Jan. 27.
Don was born in Mandan on Nov.r 17, 1934, to Leola Ellen Mathison Hjelmseth and Erwin Franklin Hjelmseth. Growing up in North Dakota, he developed a passion for the outdoors and wildlife.
He received his undergraduate degree from Dickinson State University in 1958.
A year later, Don married Darleen Sylvia Huether in Dickinson and spent the early part of his career working as superintendent of schools in small towns as they started their family.
In 1970, they migrated west to Missoula, where they fell in love with the mountains of Montana.
After completing his doctorate at the University of Montana in 1973, he served as an administrator there for more than 20 years and retired in 1995.
Throughout his career, Don touched and immensely helped students and all those he worked with in his profession. He had an endless curiosity about everyone he engaged, never met a stranger and given a few minutes could find a personal connection to anyone he met.
He is survived by his wife, Darleen, Missoula; daughter Jacquie (Scott) Fennell and children, Daniel, 20, Anna, 17, and Lily, 13, Ft. Thomas, Ky.; daughter Jana (Richard) Baker and children, Madeline, 22 and Graham, 20, Denver; son Jon (Liz) Hjelmseth and daughter, Leigh, 10, Bellingham, Wash.
To honor Don’s wishes of having his ashes scattered over Glacier Park’s Mt. Wilbur, his family will celebrate his life with a ceremony there in his honor next summer.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to:
- Partners Hospice - 2687 Palmer Street, Suite B, Missoula, MT 59808
- Poverello Center - P.O. Box 7644, Missoula, MT 59807
- Ducks Unlimited: 1 Waterfowl Way, Memphis, TN 38120