Donald Irvin Severson, 91, long-time resident of Arlington, died peacefully in his sleep, Nov. 21, 2020, in the tender care of the Estelline Nursing and Care Center.
Donald was born Dec. 4, 1928, at Royal Oak, Mich., to Harry and Agnes (Eggebraaten) Severson. He was baptized Jan. 20, 1929, in the Norwegian Lutheran Church of Detroit. Don graduated from Cass Technical High School in Detroit in 1947 and was accepted into Michigan College of Mining and Technology, now Michigan Technical University, where he was a member of Tau Beta Pi Fraternity. He married Nancy Elizabeth March in 1949 and the couple had three sons. In 1951, Don graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering, the first of three generations to earn an Engineering degree from MTU. He began his career as a civil engineer for Commonwealth Assoc. of Jackson, Mich., and soon formed his own company, Severson Associates at Southfield, Mich.
In 1990, Don sold his Michigan firm and began D. Severson Engineering in Arlington, S.D., pioneering remote working as he collaborated with his sons on challenging designs that took them across the nation. Don married Janis Kay (Lund) Smith, July 28, 1990, and they made their home on a farm south of Arlington where he loved hosting friends and family and sharing his love of fishing, hunting and country life. In 2002, the couple moved to Arlington. In 2015, they moved to Brookings and then to Estelline Care Center in 2019.
Don was a member of Trinity Lutheran Church, the Arlington Commercial Club and served for many years on the City Council having been instrumental in the design of the Main Street improvement project. Don was a passionate golfer and treasured the friendships he made on the green. He was an avid bowler, loved skiing, scuba diving and showing Janis the world in their travels. More than anything, he loved his family and friends, to whom his kindness and his life well-lived will continue to be an extraordinary example.
Don is survived by his wife, Janis; children, Rick (Shireen) Severson, David (Karen) Severson, Michael (Tanya) Smith, Sheila (Larry) Larson and Coleen (Thomas) Liebsch; brother, Harold (Darlene) Severson; sisters-in-law, Helen (the late Frank) Severson and Lois (the late Richard) Kenyon-Severson; grandchildren, Jason Mark Severson, Gary (Angela) McWhorter, Nikki (Chris) Paris, Arjang (Naseem) Roshanrouz, Arash (Sanaz) Roshanrouz, Aryan (Brian) Roshanrouz, Dina (Erin) Roshanrouz, Damoon Roshanrouz, Nicole (Nick) Volk, Brittany (Casey) Krog, Bradley (Julie) Larson, Tyler (Marilyne) Larson, Tyler (Shannon) Liebsch, Krista (Eric) Lenz and T. J. Liebsch, Morgan and Colton Smith. Great-grandchildren include Keyano and Kayden Roshanrouz, Selena and Mya Srour, Angel, Victoria, Nix and Violet McWhorter, Lydia, Aubree and Lane Paris, Jada and Maci Volk, Connor, Colton and Baylor Krog, Quinn, Reagan, Jack and Rudy Larson, Ava and Dylan Larson, Tristin Liebsch, Emelynn Lenz as well as many nieces, nephews and dear friends.
He was preceded in death by his parents; his first wife, Nancy; son, Mark Severson; brothers, Gordon, Frank and Richard Severson and granddaughter Jordan Darrah.
Due to COVID-19, a Celebration of Life will be held on Sat., June 26, 2021, at 10:30 a.m. with interment at Arlington City Cemetery. Visitation will be from 5-7 p.m., Fri., June 25, 2021. Johnson-Henry Funeral Home of Arlington is assisting the family with arrangements.
In lieu of flowers the family asks that memorials be directed to the Alzheimer’s Association or the Special Olympics.