Thief River Falls - Donald Barron, 85, of Thief River Falls, died on Thursday, Jan. 10, 2013 at the Thief River Falls Care Center.
Funeral service will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 19, at Trinity Lutheran Church, Thief River Falls, with Rev. John Voelker PhD., officiating. Interment will follow at Greenwood Cemetery, Thief River Falls.
Visitation will be held from 5 to 8 p.m., Friday, Jan. 18, with a 7 p.m. prayer service at Trinity Lutheran Church, Thief River Falls, and also for one hour prior to the service at the church Saturday.
Donald Duane Barron was born Aug. 10, 1927 in Glyndon, the son of Perry Casteel and Hazel Geda (Ebeltoft) Barron. He was baptized on Feb. 1, 1928 in Glyndon, and later confirmed at the Congregational Church in Pitt. He attended grade school in Glyndon and Pitt, and graduated from Baudette High School in Baudette, in 1945. He continued his education by earning his Bachelor of Science degree at Bemidji State University in 1950. He then went on to earn a master’s degree from the University of Minnesota, and continued his studies at Cornell University in New York.
On Dec. 20, 1952, Donald took Gladys Ann Skoe’s hand in marriage, and to this union three children were born: Catherine, Lee, and Darby.
In 1945, Donald entered the United States Navy and was involved in two tours of duty between 1945 and 1952 in the European and Asiatic Theater and served on the USS Leyte Aircraft Carrier during the Korean War. Following his years of service in the United States Navy, he was admitted into the National Guard and served for four years from 1958-1962.
Donald worked as a soil scientist for the Soil Conservation Service in Thief River Falls and later as the area conservationist. He was a co-owner of Clearwater Rice, Inc. of Clearbrook, as well as a consultant. He then became the owner of Barron Specialties of Thief River Falls.
In 1968, Don and his brothers-in-law, Ray and Stanton, began growing wild rice in Clearwater County. They were pioneers in cultivating wild rice in the U.S. They built Clearwater Rice into what at one time was the largest wild rice farm in the world. Don lived for his family, wild rice, service to the city of Thief River Falls and the surrounding area and to Trinity Lutheran Church.
Donald was very active at Trinity Lutheran Church in Thief River Falls, where he served on the church council, taught Sunday school for 27 years, and was the assistant Sunday school superintendent. He was also a member of many organizations and civic groups; he was the Lutheran Brotherhood Branch president; City Councilman for 14 years; on the Planning Commission for 35 years, both in Thief River Falls; as well as a member of the Water Quality Task force in Pennington County; and the Red Lake Watershed.
Donald served on the U of M Crookston Advisory Board; Soil and Water conservation Society of America; Minnesota Association of Soil Scientists; Wild Rice Growers Association; Property Rights member; American Legion member of more than 50 years; Kiwanis Member; 4-H Leader; Genealogy member of Solorlag, Telelag and Nord Tronderlag; a member of the Republican Party; Meals on Wheels member; and well as a foster parent.
Some other hobbies and interest of Donald included writing letters to the editors, antiques, hunting, bridge club, and genealogy.
Donald is survived by his loving wife Gladys Barron, of over 60 years; children, Catherine (Mark) Hagen, Lee (Carey) Barron, and Darby (Jean) Barron; five grandchildren, Joshua (Becky) Hagen, Michael Hagen, Dustin Barron, Justin Barron, and Jared Barron; three great-grandchildren, Jaida Hagen, Ellie Hagen, and Kaylea Barron; siblings, Phyllis (Richard) Dunn of Winona, Jack Barron of Baudette, and Chuck (Dolores) Barron of Minnetonka.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Perry and Hazel Barron; and brothers, Harry and Gordon Barron.
Family condolences may be sent at www.johnsonfuneralservice.com.