Donald Julian Nesheim
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DONALD “DON” JULIAN NESHEIM peacefully entered into heaven on Wed., Sept. 17, 2014, at the age of 83, surrounded by loved ones.
The visitation was held at St. Peter Funeral Home, 906 North Washington Avenue in St. Peter, Minn., on Sept. 21, 2014.
A celebration of life service was held Sept. 22, 2014, at Trinity Lutheran Church, 511 South 5th Street in St. Peter, Minn. A service of Christian Burial followed at Calvary Cemetery in St. Peter.
Don is preceded in death by his parents and grandparents, his older sister, Miriam Nesheim, older brother, Norwin "Bud" Nesheim, grandson, Adam Nesheim and nephew Jeremiah Dosser.
Don was grateful for having shared his life with his wife of 59 years, Ione Dosser. They were married at Faith Lutheran Church of Black Hammer, Spring Grove, Minnesota on June 25th, 1955.
Don is lovingly remembered by his four children, son, GREG NESHEIM ’78 (SUE (SCHROEDER) NESHEIM ’80) of Eagan, Minn.; and daughters DEBRA (NESHEIM) STOLL ’79 (Michael) of Worthington, Minn.; Kathleen Nesheim-Larson (Karl) of St. Peter, Minn., and Julie Hohenstein (Bill) of South Haven, Minn. Don is adoringly remembered by his grandchildren, Steven Stoll (Anna), Andrew Stoll, SARAH (NESHEIM) WESTBY ’07 (LUCAS WESTBY ’07), Nathaniel Stoll, Kyle Nesheim (Brittany), Danielle Larson, Brianna Hohenstein, Leah Nesheim, Kendra Hohenstein, Evan Larson, Alex Hohenstein, Maggie Hohenstein, Brenden Larson and his great grandchildren, Keaten Stoll, Gabriella Stoll and Addilyn Westby. Don is also remembered by his two older sisters, Eleanor and Lois, and his younger brother, GORDON “ROLLIE” NESHEIM ’57 (Kathy) and many nieces, nephews and dear friends.
Don was born in Spring Grove, Minnesota, on March 5th, 1931, to Nels and Sarah (Bidne) Nesheim. He graduated from Spring Grove High School in 1950. Don began his college career in the fall of 1952 at Luther College in Decorah, Iowa. After a semester, Don voluntarily enlisted in the United States Army on January 15th, 1952. Corporal Don then served in the Korean War in 1952 and 1953 in the artillery and received a national defense service medal. When Don returned from the war he went back to Luther College and in 1957 he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Social Studies, Physical Education and Coaching.
Don began his career in Rushford, Minn., as an athletic director, head football coach and head basketball coach. After two years in Rushford he then moved his family to St. Peter, Minn., and worked for 30 years in the St. Peter Public School system teaching social studies and physical education and the last 18 years as the Athletic Director. Don was also part of the coaching staff, with five years being 9th grade basketball coach, 15 years as assistant football coach, 17 years as a baseball coach of which 10 of those were as the head coach. Don was also the executive secretary of the South Central Conference for 12 years.
Don received many awards and recognitions over the years for his athleticism and his dedication to high school sports and activities. He was named All State in Football in 1949 and was named Minnesota Sports Champion in 1958. Don was inducted into the Luther College Athletic Hall of Fame in 1975. Later on in his career, Don was named Region 4A Athletic Director of the year (1988-89). In 2004 he was inducted into the Athletic Administrators Hall of Fame along with an induction into the State Coaches Association Hall of Fame. Years after retirement, in 2010, Don was initiated into the St. Peter High School Hall of Fame.
Don loved spending time with his family and friends. He enjoyed football, baseball and all sport activities, and he especially looked forward to time fishing in his boat. Don spent many hours watching his grandchildren play in various sports and activities, and also enjoyed talking about his grandchildren to anyone who would listen. Don also looked forward to morning coffee with his teacher friends and their monthly dinners at Whiskey River with the supper group.
Thirty-year St. Peter High School teacher/coach/athletic director and Hall of Fame member Don Nesheim, of St. Peter, died Sept. 17 He was 83.
As athletic director, Neisheim guided the department through the implementation of Title IX and witnessed some of St. Peter’s best teams in school history, including two state football championships in football, one in baseball, and numerous conference and individual championships.
Nesheim, who retired in 1989, is a member of three other hall of fames, including the Minnesota State High School Coaches Association Hall of Fame, the Minnesota Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Hall of Fame and the Luther College Hall of Fame.
“They’ve all meant a lot to me, but getting into the St. Peter High School Hall of Fame is very special since I spent most of my professional life working there,” Nesheim said after his 2010 nomination. “But, I’m also very humbled by this honor because I think there are so many others who also deserve this recognition.”
Nesheim came to St. Peter in the fall of 1959 after a two-year stint teaching in Rushford. The graduate of Luther College thought St. Peter would be a brief stop in his education career path, but it turned out to be more permanent than expected as he stuck around for 30 years.
“I thought St. Peter would be a stepping stone to a teaching and coaching job in the Twin Cities area,” Nesheim said. “But, we ended up liking it so much we raised all four our children here. Having that family support meant a lot to me over the years, and I couldn’t have accomplished any of what I did without them.”
Nesheim spent most of his days at St. Peter High teaching ninth-grade civics classes but he also was head baseball coach for 10 years, assistant football coach for about 15 years and St. Peter’s activities director for 18 years.
He also served as executive secretary of South Central Conference for 12 years working with some legendary names in Minnesota high school athletics.
“I really enjoyed working with athletics, but my first priority was always teaching,” Nesheim said. “I’ve been really lucky in that the people here in St. Peter have been very good to me and I have a lot of good friends from over the years.
“We really enjoyed raising our family here. When my children were students here, I always said academics come first but I also wanted them to do other things as well like plays or athletics. I wanted them to stay busy and experience some of the many things which St. Peter High School offered.” Children: Greg (Eagan), Deb (Worthington), Kathy (St. Peter), Julie (Buffalo); 13 grandchildren and one great-grandchild.
Did you know?: Nesheim was a standout on the 1948-49 Spring Grove undefeated football team and scored all but one of his team’s touchdowns that season. He was eventually named as an All-State running back along side the late Paul Giel of Winona who went on to star for the University of Minnesota.
Nesheim also played one year of minor league baseball with St. Louis Browns organization, with teams in Oklahoma and Wisconsin.