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Donald E. Habicht

July 20, 1941 October 30, 2009
Donald E. Habicht
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Obituary for Donald E. Habicht

Donald Ernest Habicht was born on July 20, 1941 in the Worthington City Hospital to Dorothy Klas Habicht and Graydon J. Habicht. He grew up in Worthington and graduated from Worthington High School in 1959. He received his Bachelor of Science degree from South Dakota State University in 1964.

He began graduate school at the University of Minnesota and also joined the Worthington/Winthrop 452nd Unit of the United States Army Reserves. The 452nd was activated in 1968 and sent to Vietnam.

Following his completion of service in Vietnam, Don rejoined his parents in the family clothing store business. After deciding to close the stores and end the tradition of their family retail business, he returned to graduate school, this time at Minnesota State University Mankato and completed his Masters Degree in Business Administration. He then taught at Worthington Community College and also served on the local Water and Light Commission. He became the fulltime General Manager of Utilities and served in that capacity until his retirement in 2006.

Don was an avid downhill skier, windsurfer and bicyclist. He found comfort and solace in home building projects, his family and extended family. He was proud of the completion of the many forward-looking projects of the Worthington Public Utility. He relied on and respected his board members and his staff.

Don contributed to his hometown community, to the region and to his country. He was a lifelong member of First United Methodist Church. He served on the Board of Trustees, was Chair of the Pipe Organ Committee and participated in a mission trip to Jamaica in 2007. He also served on the Worthington YMCA Executive Board, the Worthington Regional Economic Development Commission, Worthington Chamber of Commerce (President) and the Historic Dayton House Board of Directors (Treasurer).

He served on the boards of Missouri River Energy Services (Treasurer), Western Minnesota Municipal Power Agency (President), Mid-West Electric Consumers Association (President) and Lewis and Clark Water Project (Charter Member). He was also a member of Minnesota Municipal Utilities Association, American Public Power Association and the International City Management Association.

Don relished the honor and the responsibility of working with his peers and experts in the management of our precious natural energy resources. But above all else he valued the long and enduring friendships of the people with whom he worked.

Don passed away early Friday morning, October 30, 2009 at Southridge Care Center, Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

Don was preceded in death by his parents and his younger brother James Robert Habicht. He is survived by his wife Beth, Worthington, his sister Nancy Habicht Ireland (Richard), Lakeville, Mn., nieces Cristi (Thomas) McKnight and children Michael, Ashley and Viktoria, of Washington D.C., Mari (Doug) Grant and children Caitlin and Charlie of Burnsvile, Mn., and nephew Mark (Amy) and children Ella Mae and Johanna of St. Paul, Mn.; sister-in-law Valerie Habicht of Bloomington, Mn., nieces Jane (Ryan) Duncan and son Graydon James of Chicago, Ill., and Jennifer Habicht of Minneapolis and nephew Jeffrey James Habicht of Chicago, Ill. He is also survived by many extended family members.

Celebration of Life services will be held on Wednesday, November 4, 2009, at 11:00 a.m., at the First United Methodist Church in Worthington, MN, with Rev. Gordon J. Orde officiating. Private family burial will be held prior to the service at the Worthington Memorial Gardens Cemetery.

Blessed be his memory.

Memorials are preferred to First United Methodist Church Pipe Organ Fund or the Endowment Fund at the Dayton House.

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