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Donald “Don” D. Hafner

Donald “Don” D. Hafner

Donald D. Hafner


- September 5, 2019

Donald “Don” D. Hafner, 101, passed away with family at his side on August 30, 2019 at North Colorado Medical Center in Greeley, CO.

     A lifelong resident of Newell, he spent his last few years with his daughter, Connie in Colorado. Don was a loving husband and devoted father.  He married his life companion, Ruth M. Powers, on June 20, 1941.  They shared 61 years together.

     Don had a wonderful sense of humor and a gentle spirit.  He was an unassuming man of integrity, strength, and many talents.  It seemed there was nothing he could not do or build.

     After graduating from Newell High School in 1935, Don went to work at the Homestake Mine in Lead, then opened a plumbing and appliance store in Newell.  Drafted in October, 1942, he served in the Army, first at the Climax Molybdenum Mine in Leadville, CO, and then in Korea in the 143rd Field Artillery Battalion during WWII.

     After the war, Don returned to his Newell business.  A man of diverse interests and abilities, he bought a drilling rig in 1951 and, into the mid ‘60s, drilled water and gas wells in South Dakota, North Dakota, and Wyoming.  Don had completed a certified course in diesel mechanics and once had a pilot’s license.  He restored 2 antique automobiles and was a member of the Horseless Carriage Club of America.  As a member of the Newell Boat and Ski Club, he was instrumental in building many facilities at Newell Lake, all of which are now sadly gone.  An avid fisherman, he kept many area dams planted with bass.

     Always a strong supporter of his community, Don served about 25 years in the Newell Volunteer Fire Department and served many years on the City Council in various capacities.  He installed and maintained many of the town’s water mains.

     Most will probably remember Don as being in the wool business.  Throughout his life, he worked at the Hafner Wool warehouse in Newell until it closed, later becoming the manager of North Central Wool Corp. in Belle Fourche from which he retired in 1985.  He designed and built the first hydraulic wool baler in 1958, and subsequently built a number of others, some of which were sold to mills and warehouses across the country.

     Don was preceded in death by his wife, Ruth and a daughter, Dorothy.

     He is survived by daughters, Donna Hafner of Grand Junction, CO and Connie (Dick) Williamson of Greeley, CO.  Also surviving are granddaughter, Heidi (Scott) Krise and great-grandchildren, Kimberlyn, Courtney, Braden, and Jenna of Briggsdale, CO.

     Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10:00 a.m. on Monday, September 9, 2019, at St. Mary’s Star of the Sea Catholic Church in Newell.  Burial will follow at Hope Cemetery in Newell.

     Memorial contributions may be made to the Newell Volunteer Fire Department, P.O. Box 405, Newell, SD 57760.



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