Donald J. Erpelding, 78 of Watkins, passed away on Friday, December 20, 2019 at the St. Cloud Hospital. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 9:30 a.m. on Saturday, December 28, 2019 at St. Anthony Catholic Church in Watkins. Visitation will be from 4:00 to 8:00 p.m. on Friday at the St. Anthony Parish Center in Watkins. A rosary will be prayed at 3:45 p.m. on Friday at the parish center followed by parish prayers at 7:45 p.m. Visitation will continue one hour prior to services on Saturday at the parish center. Fr. Aaron Nett will officiate. Music will be by Mary Streit and the church choir. Arrangements are with the Ertl Funeral Home, Watkins.
Donald J. Erpelding was born on March 24, 1941 at Watkins, Minnesota. He was the son of Theodore and Pauline (Schneider) Erpelding. Don grew up at Watkins and attended country school in rural Watkins and St. Boniface High School in Cold Spring. He served in the Army National Guard. On August 17, 1974, Don was united in marriage to Kathy Johnson at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Waite Park. Don farmed his entire life on the family farm where he was born. He was employed as an auto mechanic at Sears in St. Cloud for 41 years (1965 – 1978) and continued part time until retiring in 2006.
Don was a lifelong member of St. Anthony Catholic Church. He was a licensed pilot, owned a 1959 Cessna 150 aircraft, which is still in his shed, and had a certified airstrip on the farm. Don was a member of the Farm Bureau Board of Directors, having retired just this year. He was also President of the Langer Sisters Fan Club and he enjoyed Old Time Polka music. His favorite radio station was KASM in Albany. Don also collected IH Tractors and was a member of IH Collectors Club, Chapter 15. He loved to make people laugh and his favorite saying was “If it’s not red, leave it in the shed”.
Don is survived by his wife, Kathy Erpelding of Watkins; children, Michael Erpelding of Watkins and Theresa Erpelding of St. Cloud; grandson, Ethan Erpelding; sisters, Rosemary Ritter of Sauk Centre and Lucille Angell of St. Cloud. He was preceded in death by his parents and a brother in infancy.
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