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Donald P. Kohns, 87

Donald P. Kohns was born on February 15, 1934 in Cherokee, IA and died Sunday, December 12, 2021 at the age of 87. He was raised on a farm nearby and attended Sheridan #6, a rural school. After graduating from Immaculate Conception High School in Cherokee he earned a Bachelor of Science in Commerce Degree from Creighton University. He served in Korea as an Army Officer with responsibilities as an Infantry Platoon Leader and Artillery Aerial Observer. He also served as Defense Council for court marshals, and Personnel Officer. He became a Sergeant First Class and retired as a Captain after serving 21 years in the active and reserve components of the Army. He earned the Commendation and Meritorious Service Medals.

Don married Jeanette Ritten in 1959 at Belle River, MN. After working several years as a merchandise manager for Montgomery Wards he enrolled at the University of Minnesota to earn a Bachelor of Science Degree in Distributive Education. He taught Marketing Education at Wisconsin and Minnesota Community and Technical Colleges. He developed internships and career placement programs at these colleges. He served as the President of the Minnesota Distributive Education Coordinators’ Association. Don then joined Moorhead State College as a Marketing Education Teacher. After earning a PhD Degree in Educational Psychology from the University of Minnesota, he joined the faculty at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University at Blacksburg, Virginia. He was involved as an associate director of the U.S. Office of Education Marketing Occupational Research Project. This project identified marketing occupation competencies for future curriculum adaptions in various Marketing Education Programs. Don wrote textbooks and manuals for the McGraw Hill and Southwestern Publishing Companies.

Don spent 17 years of his education career on the faculty of the Business and Vocational Education Department at the University of North Dakota. He served as an advisor to the Distributive Education Clubs of America Chapter (DECA), and UND Collegiate Toastmaster Organization and the UND Students in Free Enterprise Association (SIFE). Students earned recognition for their involvement with national competitive events, education, and community service projects. For his advisement he was recognized with the UND Outstanding Advisor Award. He retired as a Professor Emeritus. A special high note of his retirement was the reunion program honoring Don offered by a number of his former students and student teacher supervisors. He was a member of Sacred Heart Parish, Knights of Columbus Council, American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars, and Toastmasters International.

Don enjoyed socializing with his family and friends, all types of sports, reading historical books, fishing – especially when they were biting, and boating at their Roy Lake, Minnesota cabin.

He is survived by his wife of 62 years, Jeanette of East Grand Forks; children Gerald and wife Lauren of Annandale VA, Robert of Shorewood, MN, Jennifer and her husband Jay Neppel Highland Ranch, CO, Laura and her husband, Pat Brickson of Thief River Falls, MN, and David and his wife Olivia May of Ann Arbor, MI; 12 grandchildren – Kyle, Alex, Kaly, Aric, Kara, Julia, Joshua, Will, Hannah, Grace, Eleanor, and Avery; one great-grandchild on the way; and brother Larry Kohns of Olathe, KS.

Don was preceded in death by his parents Paul and Austrid, sister Elaine (Jim) Johnstone and sister-in-law Shari Kohns.

In lieu of flowers, memorials are suggested to Sacred Heart Development Fund

Visitation: 6:00 PM – 7:00 PM Wednesday, December 15, 2021 in Dahl Funeral Home, 2029 Central Ave. NW, East Grand Forks, MN and also 1 hour prior Funeral Service on Thursday in Sacred Heart Catholic Church.

Prayer Service: 7:00 PM, Wednesday, December 15, 2021 also at the funeral home. The prayer service will be live-streamed on Don’s page at

Mass of Christian Burial: 2:00 PM on Thursday, December 16, 2021 in Sacred Heart Catholic Church, 200 3rd St. NW, East Grand Forks, MN with a 1:30 PM Rosery Service in Sacred Heart Catholic Church. Service will be live-streamed on Don’s page at

Military Honors Conducted By: American Legion Post #157, Veterans of Foreign Wars Post #3817, and the Minnesota Army National Guard

Interment: Resurrection Cemetery ~ East Grand Forks, MN

Online Guestbook:

Arrangements By: Dahl Funeral Home ~ East Grand Forks, MN

1 Comment

  1. Bill and Kay Adams on December 21, 2021 at 5:48 pm

    We were saddened to read about Don’s passing. We are in AZ for the winter months but will be there when Don is put to rest. Our thoughts and prayers are with Jeanette and family during these hard times. We have many fond memories of Don and his family and will cherish them all. God bless you all.

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