Donald A. Nazarenus

Donald A. Nazarenus, 97 of Sleepy Eye, Minnesota peacefully passed away on Wednesday, March 6, 2024, at Divine Providence Community Home in Sleepy Eye. A visitation will be held on Saturday, May 25, 2024, from 12:30 pm until 2:00 pm at Faith United Methodist Church in Sleepy Eye followed by a memorial service at 2:00 pm. The clergy will be Pastor Michael Baker. Interment will be at Home Cemetery in Sleepy Eye. Arrangements are with Sturm Funeral Home in Sleepy Eye. Online condolences may be left for the family at

Donald Alfred Nazarenus was born on March 24, 1926, in Sleepy Eye to Alfred and Rose (Marquardt) Nazarenus. He was a Sleepy Eye resident his entire life. He was an expert on the history of Sleepy Eye and could tell many stories about the early residents and merchants who lived and worked here. He shared stories of fishing at Sleepy Eye Lake as a young boy and played with his brothers in a 3-piece band.

When Don was 17, he joined the Navy and served on the USS Fessenden as a Gunner’s Mate during WWII. He served in the North Atlantic, the Mediterranean, South Africa, crossed the Panama Canal, and guarded WWII prisoners on islands in the South Pacific. After being discharged from the Navy, Don returned to Sleepy Eye and met the love of his life at a dance. Don and Dorothy Huebert were married on July 25, 1948. They were married 73 years and were blessed with 8 wonderful children.

He held several jobs in his lifetime including hand-shoveling deep snow off the train tracks after winter blizzards, brick layer, carpenter, painter, and US Rural Mail Carrier. He also had many interests such as gardening, bird watching, refinishing furniture, hunting, fishing, collecting and repairing clocks, and lapidary.

He instilled a deep love and appreciation for family and the wonders of nature. Family heirlooms were especially important as a way to help us remember our ancestors and our heritage.

He was proud to be a life-long member of Faith United Methodist Church of Sleepy Eye, and also a member of the American Legion Post 7 in Sleepy Eye, VFW, Free Masons Charity Lodge No. 98 in New Ulm, and the Rural Mail Carrier Association.

Don is survived by his children, Sheila (Ted) Thydean of International Falls, Candy (Paul) Sobocinski of Wabasso, Sue Meyer (special friend Al Merkel) of Sleepy Eye, Kris (Gene) Nelson of Sleepy Eye, Brent (Diane) Nazarenus of Sleepy Eye, and Erik (Rita) Nazarenus of Spicer; 14 grandchildren; 22 great grandchildren; 5 great-great grandchildren; one sister, Gretchen Brethorst; and many nieces, nephews and in-laws.  He was preceded in death by his wife, Dorothy; parents; daughters, Rosanne Nazarenus and Janet Nazarenus; brothers, Daryl and Orlando; grandson, John Meyer; and great grandson, Quintin Rose.

Family members would like to thank the staff at Divine Providence Community Home for their care and compassion for Donald during his stay at DPCH and especially during his final days.