- Pineandlakes Echo Journal | Minnesota

Merle Donovan “Don” Bygness

Minnesota and Arizona

Merle Donovan “Don” Bygness passed away at age 90 on Dec. 28, 2012, at St. Joseph’s Medical Center in Brainerd, Minn., following a brief hospitalization for bilateral pneumonia.

Don was a proud World War II (USN) veteran (1942-1946), born in Lake Township, Humboldt County, Iowa, in 1922; graduate of Waldorf and St. Olaf colleges; dedicated teacher and school administrator in Renwick and New Hampton, Iowa; popular and award-winning agent and manager for Farm Bureau Insurance Co. in Humboldt, Sac and Emmet counties, Iowa.

Don and Arlene were actively retired in northern Minnesota and Phoenix, Ariz., for 27 years.

Preceded in death by parents, Oley and Stella; and brother, Russell. Survived by Arlene (Valen), his wife of 64 years; sons, Ron (Janie) and Rich; daughter, Ruth (Ron); and multitudes of friends from Iowa, Minnesota, Arizona and numerous ports in between.

Memorial service was Monday, Dec. 31, at 10:30 a.m. at First Lutheran Church in Pine River, Minn. Family and friends gathered one hour prior to services. Interment with military honors at Minnesota State Veterans Cemetery near Camp Ripley, Minn. Memorials preferred to St. Joseph’s Medical Center Foundation (Brainerd, Minn.).

Please visit to leave a message of comfort and support for Don’s family.

Brenny Funeral Chapel and Cremation Services was in charge of arrangements.

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