Donald Paul Haubenschild, 87, passed away Thursday, July 26, 2012.
Donald was born April 13, 1925, in Ellendale, the son of John David Haubenschild and Hermine Hilda (Peterka) Haubenschild. Donald was raised on the family farm in Ellendale. He left home at age 18 to work as a hired farm hand in Owatonna.
In 1943, Donald went into the Army to help the World War II cause. He served in Germany as a bridge engineer.
He came back home to Blooming Prairie, during a military leave the summer of 1945. The Haubenschild family planned a picnic to welcome Donald home for his short visit. Don’s sister Elaine invited her friend Myrtle Schlemmer — a city girl from South Saint Paul — to take the bus home with her. This was the first meeting of his future bride.
The war ended just before Don was to be shipped to the Japanese front so, with good fortune, he was discharged in December 1945.
June 1, 1946, was a special day when Don proposed marriage to Myrtle after a romantic courtship. Myrtle selected September 28 as their wedding date.
Don and Myrtle started their life together in South Saint Paul. Working hard to earn a living was never a problem for either of them. Don worked at a coal yard during the day and at Swift & Co. at night,where Myrtle also worked as a bookkeeper. He also drove school bus for a while.
In 1947, they rented out their basement house and moved to Glendenning Farms in St. Paul Park for Don’s work. They stayed there for 2 1/2 years.
This is the first time Myrtle ever lived on a farm. During this time, their son Dennis was born. A short time later James came into the world. In 1950, when Dennis was three and Jim was two years old, they moved to the Ellendale Haubenschild family farm to help Don’s parents for a year. But their hope of buying the family farm after Hermine and John retired and moved to Blooming Prairie was not to be.
Don and JoAnn searched for affordable farms in the Ellendale area, but none were to be found. They found an advertisement in the paper for a farm in the Princeton area. Despite Princeton being so far away, they sold their basement house, made the down payment, bought their first machinery, and made a cold move to Princeton on February 2, 1952.
They loaded their family and possessions into a 1927 Cannonball truck, as well as a Jersey calf named Pee Wee and three pigs named Priscilla, Gertrude, and Isabel. The home on their 128-acre homestead was a vintage mid-1800s house with one wire for an electric light or two, no running water and an oil burner that kept the kitchen warm. There was an outhouse, a barn and six outbuildings.
This was the start of the Haubenschild Farm, now a 1,000-cow agribusiness producing milk, electricity and other agri-products.
In 1993, Don and Myrtle moved off the farm to their Green Lake home.
Today, the business is run by son Dennis with wife Marsha and their sons Tom and Bryan with wife Jill and a dedicated team of employees.
The farm’s 60th year anniversary was celebrated in June with a Kanabec-Isanti “Breakfast on the Farm” event, attended by an estimated 1,100 visitors. Don enjoyed this day immensely.
Myrtle and Don brought five children into the world: Dennis, James, Gordon, Diane and Joan.
They provided a farm home environment with an abundance of love, plus homegrown garden and dairy food. Joining the family over the years were 40 foster children, of all ages, between the spring of 1952 until 1982.
Donald is survived by his wife Myrtle, their five children, 18 grandchildren and 33 great-grandchildren.
The world is a better place because Donald Haubenschild lived in it.
Funeral services were held on Monday, July 30 at Christ Our Light – North in Princeton
The family would like memorials to go to the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation (www.pdf.org), 1359 Broadway, Suite 1509, New York, NY, 10018 or the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, www.cff.org.