Don Lagerlef age 95, passed peacefully at his home on July 21, 2023. Don was born April 7, 1928, in Moline, Illinois to Frank and Nettie Lagerlef. Don married the love of his life Annie Katherine. She proceeded him in death on December 29, 2016, after he tenderly cared for her through several years of deteriorating health related to Alzheimer’s disease. Don was proud of his three sons David, Bob and Steve and his daughter, Donna. Don attended Trinity Lutheran Church in Caney, Kansas for over 50 years.
In his youth Don worked for Saturday Evening Post delivering magazines all year long by bicycle. He joined the Sea Scouts while in High School, building and sailing small sailboats on the Mississippi River. In Moline the youth group at Calvery Lutheran Church was instrumental in his faith life. Don later earned a Civil Engineering degree from the University of Denver. While stationed in the Washington DC area, as an engineer for the Army Corps of Engineers Don met Ann at a USO dance. After being discharged from service in the Army, Don and Ann married and he began work in the oil industry. While raising a family and pursuing his engineering career, Don worked towards his private pilots license and volunteering as a Boy Scout leader. He worked on many merit badges with his sons and inspired all three to achieve the rank of Eagle Scout. His career eventually took him to Bartlesville, Oklahoma, where he and the family purchased a house and ranch land near the Kansas border.
Shortly after becoming a rancher, Don began working for a pipeline company headquartered in Independence, Kansas, ARCO. That company asked him to take a position in Anchorage, Alaska working on the Trans Alaska Pipeline. Don later enjoyed sharing stories about the various engineering jobs on that project and adventures he and the family had while living up north for seven years. He included some of these experiences in a book he authored.
Returning to the ranch in Oklahoma after oil started flowing through the 800-mile Alaska pipeline, he began construction and led the family in building a house he designed on his land. As his health declined in 2022, he asked to remain in the house until his death, if possible.
Don loved to play the accordion and worked at playing the harmonica, piano, and guitar. He enjoyed attending musical performances in Bartlesville. He was constantly studying new subjects and was an avid reader, regularly going to nearby libraries to check out books or purchase books they were selling. He and Ann also enjoyed their sailboat for many years at Grand Lake. His children warmly remember being raised by a father who taught and modeled patience, wisdom, and the joy of a good adventure while enjoying God’s creation.
The family would to like thank the Compassus Hospice nurses Taylor, Theresa, Katie and Kelsey, also Haylee and Chaplain Lonnie. They treated Don with kindness and respect during his end-of-life experience. Each helped the family feel comfortable and at peace while taking care of our beloved father.
The family gives thanks to God for the Caney Lutheran Church family and the pastors who served there throughout the years where Don regularly attended. He was blessed with wonderful, friendly neighbors that assisted Don in his successful ranching through the last 50 years in Northeast Oklahoma.