Don M. Paulson, Sr. left this world to join his Lord and Savior on June 17th, 2023. Don's memorial service will be announced at a later date and time, and will be held in Jefferson Iowa.
The impact of his achievements affected countless lives across the world. Don had a passion for restoring old homes and vehicles, interior decorating, playing piano, and reading and listening to the Bible. He was loved by everyone and had so many amazing stories to share about the places he lived and traveled. He graciously shared his Snickers candy bars, Mountain Dew soda, and bottles of water to all that graced his doorstep, and he greeted them with love and warmth.
Don was born on January 23, 1947 in Phoenix, Arizona to Herbert Laverne Paulson and Eva LaDessa Paulson. The family lived a short time in Phoenix and returned to their home state of Iowa and resided on a farm in Dana. His work ethic was shown when he labored the farm with his parents, worked at the local skating rink, and tended to the family business, a go-kart track. Don attended and graduated from East Greene Community High School in 1965 where he excelled in track and field. He then attended Oklahoma State University to pursue his Bachelor of Science in Hotel and Restaurant Administration and Master's degree in Administrative Dietetics-both of which were completed in 1968. During his attendance, he was committed to many extracurricular activities, such as fraternity Delta Upsilon, Phi Mu Alpha, Glee Club, American Motel and Hotel Association, and was president of the American Hotel and Restaurant Society of Oklahoma State University.
Throughout college, he joined the Air Force; he received the rank of Lieutenant in the bio-chemical medical corps.
On December 30th, 1967, Don and Leslie Rene' Hays were united in marriage. Two years later, their son Don Morgan Paulson, Jr. was born on August 1st. The family of three moved to Washington D.C. briefly where Don continued his military service; he specialized in orchestrating banquets and arranging dietary needs within his branch. His efforts led to his transfer to Panama City, Florida to further his service. In 1972, Don and Leslie divorced, and Don continued his life in Culver City, California after receiving an Honorable Discharge. He worked at Brotman Medical Center as the Director of Food Services for many years before moving back to Dana, Iowa. Don became a consultant for the Iowa Small Business Development Centers and worked at Iowa State University in the Department of Residence all the while attaining a Doctor of Education and a Doctor of Hotel, Restaurant, and Institution Management. After acquiring his double doctorates, he retired to Phoenix for a short time until the announcement that he was going to be a grandfather. Don relocated to Stillwater Oklahoma which brought him closer to his son Don Jr. and granddaughter Abbey Brianne Paulson.
Don is preceded in death by his grandparents Harry and Lena Paulson; grandparents William and Mary Johnson; his parents Herb and Eva Paulson; his son Don, Jr.; cousin Doug Paulson and cousin Max Johnson.
He is survived by his daughter-in-law Janna and granddaughter Abbey Paulson of Broken Arrow, OK; cousins Darlowe Paulson and wife Debbie of Spring, TX; Tom Paulson and Marsha of Grand Junction, IA; Roxie Dwyer and husband Rodger of Illinois; Raejean and husband Gary Jones of Akeny, IA; Kenneth Schilling and Ken of Palms Springs CA; Mary Ott of Ogden, IA; survivors also include his numerous relatives from the Paulson and Johnson families.
The family would like to personally thank Traditions Hospice and the staff at the Renaissance Retirement facility of Stillwater for their above and beyond care and treatment.
The family requests that those wishing to honor Don's memory may do so by making memorial contributions to the Wounded Warriors Project.