Donald W. Overlander, 76, quietly passed away at home October 5, 2020. He struggled with congestive heart failure for quite a few years.
Don graduated from Willmar Tech as a Draftsman, studied 2 years at Stout State University in Industrial Ed before enlisting in the Navy as an Aviation Electronics Technician. He was stationed at Cecil Field in Jacksonville, FL and taught courses in computer fundamentals, foreign government, and maintenance on electronic aircraft equipment, weapons delivery systems, guns, rockets and bombs. Don was deployed on board the USS Coral Sea during the Vietnam War and the USS America for a total of 3 years, docking in ports around the world. . .Australia, China, Japan, Korea, Italy, Spain, Germany, Austria, Portugal, Greece, Philippine Islands, Spain, Taiwan, Island of Corfu, Netherlands. . .
After serving for ten years in the Navy, Don went to work for North Central Airlines. He collaborated in the design and installation of world data communications network and as a supervisor in Data Communications Network and Research and Development. He retired after 24 years with the airline industry.
Don was a multi-talented man!! He was an adventurer who enjoyed scuba diving, water skiing, fishing, and hunting, camping; he was a private pilot, a little league soccer coach, an organic gardener, a hobby farmer, CDL transporter and last, but hardly least, he loved cars!!! He belonged to the Majestic and Chauffer’s card club as a teen, working alongside friends repairing, rebuilding and driving cars. Then as a father, teaching and enjoying the same with his sons as they worked together in the garage. His final project and dream, not completed, was rebuilding his ’39 Chevy. He was a member of MSRA and loved “Back to the ‘50’s”.
He and Lynne met at college and were married for 53 years. They had 6 children. Don “midwifed” four of their children in home births, his hands only shook after the first delivery--after that he was a pro!! Don loved camping, fishing, working on carpentry projects and attending car shows with this family. He worked hard, played hard and dearly loved his family. Don packed a lot of adventure and learned many skills in his lifetime!! He was a talented carpenter, building and remodeling homes for our family and others with his wife, sons and daughter. If something needed repair or was broken, Don would fix it. A carpenter, an electrician, a plumber, floor installation, heavy machine operator--if he didn’t know how to do it, he learned.
He was well loved and will be greatly missed.
Don is survived by his wife, Lynne; his children, Don (Leanne), Daniel (Elena), Karyn (Michael) and David (Carol); his grandchildren, Caleb (Tia), Isaac, Ashleigh, Londyn, Leilani, Digory, Edmund, Oliver, Brennan, Kaitlyn, Xander and Sofie; his sister, Beverly (Ed) and nieces, nephews, relatives and friends.
Don is predeceased by his sons, Doug and Dwayne and his parents, Bud and Bea Overlander.
Covid 19 restrictions have made gathering in remembrance difficult at best. Hopefully a memorial for Don will be possible in the near future.
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