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Donald McGillis

Jan. 17, 1930-Nov. 22, 2009

Donald W. McGillis, 79, of Detroit Lakes, died Sunday, November 22, 2009 at home with his family by his side.

Donald William McGillis was born the son of Harry and Myrtle (Frovarp) McGillis on January 17, 1930 in Edmore, N.D. He was raised and educated in Edmore, graduating from Edmore High School in 1948.

Don was united in marriage to Joan Ramberg on January 27, 1950 in Devils Lake, N.D. He then attended Mayville State Teachers College in Mayville, N.D., where he did his undergraduate work in English, Library Science and Accounting. He then attended North Dakota State University, Fargo, completing his master's degree in Business Administration.

Don taught at various schools, including Newbre Township in North Dakota, Karlstad, Minn., and Fargo, at Ben Franklin Elementary. He also served as principle at Lancaster, Wheaton and Hawley, Minn.

In 1968 Don started his career with Mahube Community Council as a teacher supervisor of the summer Head Start program. He became the agency's planner in 1970 and the deputy director in 1973. Don became the executive director in 1982 and worked in that position until retiring in 2000.

Don enjoyed golfing, gardening, politics, dancing, singing, woodworking, reading, crossword puzzles and spending time with his family.

Don will be deeply missed by his wife of nearly 60 years, Joan McGillis of Detroit Lakes; four children, Greg (Mary) McGillis of Little Falls, Minn., Bryce (Dawn) McGillis of West Fargo, Dawn Askin (fiancé Brian Ulrich) of St. Cloud, Minn., and Andrea McGillis of Cushing, Minn.; 12 grandchildren, Sarah (Steve) Olson, Zachary (Leah) McGillis, Robin McGillis, Gregory McGillis and Kally McGillis, Angie (Dan) Ringsacker, Bryce McGillis II, Jeremy McGillis, Billie Jo (David) Kasin, Robert Askin, Brandon Askin and Logan Askin; eight great grandchildren; two brothers, Darrell (Mavis) McGillis of Chico, Calif., and Larry (Dixie) McGillis of Portland, N.D.; as well as numerous nieces and nephews.

Preceding Don in death were his parents; one great grandson, David Kasin; sister, Faye McGillis; nephew, Anthony McGillis; and sister-in-law, Lois McGillis.

A memorial service is scheduled for 11 a.m. Friday, Nov. 27, at West-Kjos Funeral Home, Detroit Lakes, with visitation for one hour prior to the service.

Those wanting to share memories and condolences are invited to use the online messages of sympathy section at