Donald E. Wilson

Donald E. Wilson

August 17, 1946 – July 13, 2020


Don was born on August 17, 1946, in Aberdeen, South Dakota to Glen and Marie (Stefan) Wilson.  He grew up in Edgeley, North Dakota where he attended school and graduated in 1964.  He was somewhat mischievous as a youth and the family has heard many stories of his antics.  One of our favorites was when he was told to go tie up the dog and he tied it to the Christmas tree, with a resultant crash soon after.  He enjoyed many sports and activities during this time – football, basketball, baseball, golf, and pheasant hunting.  He worked as a lifeguard and in his father’s grocery store.

After high school graduation, he attended college at Carroll College in Helena, Montana.  Activities at Carroll included varsity baseball and serving as a class officer.  He graduated in 1968 with a degree in Sociology and a minor in English.

Don next started graduate school at the University of Nebraska in Lincoln, but was soon drafted and inducted into the Army in February 1969.  After basic and technical training, he served as a chaplain’s assistant in Germany.  After discharge in January 1971, he returned to the University of Nebraska and received his Master of Social Work degree in 1972.

Don began working in the Mental Health Clinic at the Omaha VA Medical Center in June 1972, providing psychotherapy to veterans and their families.  He retired from the VA in June 2003.

Throughout his life,Don enjoyed many activities including reading, walking, running (he ran 10 marathons and many lOk’s), golf, travel and biking.

Don and Barb met in 1980, while they both worked at the VA Medical Center.  They married July 10, 1982.  Barb’s son, Joe, was 9 years old and a part of the wedding party.  Don adopted Joe in 1986.  Son, Andy, was born September 11,1983.  Don spent many years playing and coaching sports with both boys.

Don is survived by his wife, Barbara; sons, Joe and Andy, Joe’s wife, Tori, and granddaughter, Asia, all of Omaha; his sister, Glenna Mastel of Detroit Lakes, Minnesota; nieces, Karen Launchbaugh (Karl) of Moscow, Idaho and Karla Nistler (Paul) of Audubon, Minnesota; nephew, Kevin Mastel (Jo) of New York Mills, Minnesota; grandnephews, Eric Nistler (Mandy and children Riley and Liam) of Duluth, Minnesota and Justin Nistler (Kim) of Salt Lake City, Utah; grandniece, Sadie Johnson (Jeff and children Connor and Brooklyn) of Spokane, Washington.  In addition, there are a host of in-laws and friends.

VISITATION following CDC guidelines: Friday, July 17th from 6:15pm to 7:30pm, at Holy Cross Catholic Church (4810 Woolworth Ave.) followed by VIGIL SERVICE at 7:30pm.  MASS OF CHRISTIAN BURIAL: Saturday, July 18th, 10:30am, Holy Cross Catholic Church.  INTERMENT: Hillcrest Cemetery.  In lieu of flowers, memorials are suggested to Holy Cross Catholic Church or Siena/Francis House.

To view a live broadcast of the Vigil, Mass, and Graveside Service, go to our website and click the View Live Cast button on our homepage or click on Service Links below.

Vigil Service Link:—vigil-601356

Funeral Service Link:—funeral-720143

Graveside Service Link:—graveside-192099




  • Giuseppe (Joe) Siracusano Posted July 16, 2020 12:20 pm

    Barb, Karen and I wish we could be present, but we have been viewing services via video. Please accept our heart-felt sorrow for your (and our) loss with Don’s passing.

  • Jim & Judy Stinson Posted July 16, 2020 12:42 pm

    Sure wish we could be near you all to express our personal loss. Willie was a great roommate, friend and supporter. We will miss all the times we could write each other. God Bless!

  • Mary Lea Eilers Carlson Posted July 16, 2020 2:07 pm

    Though cousins may scatter to the wind, their childhood memories of each other are the thread that holds them together forever. Seeing the photograph of Donny and his infectious smile stirred memories of our fun-kid-times at Grandpa and Grandma Wilson’s home in Warner, SD. There were road trips to Edgeley, ND for Sunday dinner at Uncle Glen and Aunt Marie’s home with cousins Glenna and Donny. After leaving home, news of graduations, jobs, moves, marriages and children are passed on from our parents – there is always a connection.
    Donny left us with warm memories. This is sent with sincere condolences to Donny’s family and friends.
    Mary Lea Eilers Carlson (daughter of Hazel Lea Wilson Eilers)

  • Mary Gibilisco Posted July 17, 2020 10:58 am

    John and I met Barb and Don in 1982 at the Holy Cross RCIA class. Whenever I had the pleasure of talking with Don, he had that great smile on his face. He made everyone feel important, smart and welcome. I am sorry, We have all lost a bright light.

  • Tom keenan Posted July 17, 2020 11:19 am

    Always so positive and smiling. RIP my friend

  • Tom Connelly Posted July 17, 2020 7:54 pm

    Don was great man. He always was so positive and genuinely interested in my life, whenever I interacted with him I always left feeling better. Prayers for all of you. God Bless Don.

  • Scott Etter Posted July 18, 2020 7:45 am

    Sometimes in life, if your lucky enough, you meet someone who has the character and class that you strive for. Someone who walks into a room and everybody smiles! Don Wilson was that man!!! My family has had the fortune, for the last few seasons, to sit next to Don and his wonderful wife Barb at the Creighton basketball games. Outside of watching the game and enjoying the atmosphere, talking to Don throughout the game about basketball, my job, my family, since my sisters and I are Holy Cross Falcons and just life in general, is something I’ll never take for granted! Seeing him smile and wave at us when we walked up the stairs always made you feel happy and special!!! And that’s what Don was, he made you feel special!!! He had that strength!!! He was a GOOD MAN!!! He made me want to be a better man!!! RIP Don and thank you

  • Mark and Pamela Gutierrez Posted July 18, 2020 10:02 pm

    Dearest Barb and Family,
    We are so sorry for this loss. Don was so very proud of his family – you all made him the happy, generous person that he was . . . no one more genuine! While we will all be missing Don, please know that we understand your very personal loss.

  • Nancy Kushman Lyons Posted July 19, 2020 12:08 pm

    My prayers are with you. Don and I were first cousins. Many fun days playing together as children.

  • Nancy Kushman Kunze Lyons Posted July 19, 2020 12:17 pm

    What fond memories of days gone by as cousins. We had so much fun playing at Grandma Wilson’s or where ever we all got together. Melgaard Park was another fun place. My mother, Vera Wilson Kushman , was Don’s dad’s sister. My prayers are with you all. Glenna and I stay in touch.

  • Greg Wilson Posted July 20, 2020 9:43 am

    Don was a very kind soul. I had the pleasure of playing golf with Don on several occasions as well as seeing him at UNO basketball games. I had run into Don several times over these past years and he was always bright and friendly. RIP my friend!

  • Bob Whitehouse Posted July 31, 2020 11:22 am

    It is with a heavy heart that I give mine and Kim’s condolences. Don was always so active and supportive of Bryan High where Andy flourished in academics and sports. He and Barb never failed to attend conferences or activities. Don remained a friend and often times related to me about University business when I was a Regent. Don will be missed by his family and friends and his steady wisdom and support can never be replaced. We have lost a good friend entirely too soon.
    Best wishes to Barb, Andy and Joe. With sincere condolences – Bob and Kim Whitehouse…

  • LeRoy & Leanne Wegenast Posted August 2, 2020 7:45 am

    Farewell fellow classmate, teammate and era veteran from the Edgeley HS class of 1964.

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