Donald Undesser

On Sunday afternoon, March 18, 2018, Donald W. Undesser, age 92, passed away peacefully surrounded by his family, at St. Gertrude’s Health and Rehabilitation Center, Shakopee, MN. He was a life-long resident of Jordan, MN.

A time of gathering will be held on Friday, March 23, from 4-7 pm, at Ballard-Sunder Funeral & Cremation, 104 West First Street, Jordan, and one hour prior to the Mass of Christian Burial on Saturday, March 24, at 11 am, at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church, 210 North Broadway, Jordan. Father Timothy Yanta will preside, with Donald’s grandchildren acting as urn bearers, gift bearers and eulogist. He will be laid to rest at St. John Calvary Cemetery, with military honors provided by the Jordan Vets Honor Guard and the U.S. Navy Honor Guard.

Donald William was born on January 15, 1926, at the home of his parents, John Henry and Ann (Walerius) Undesser, in Jordan, MN. By the age of 3 ½, Donald had already lost an older infant brother, Leroy and his father to tuberculosis. Donald’s mom remarried a local widower, Nick Stang and gained two siblings, Florian and Anita. He was a young energetic entrepreneur, as a paper boy, stain spotter at the dry cleaners, delivered ice and freight. Donald also had a hidden talent for fixing clocks, especially the St. John’s Church clock. He attended St John’s Parochial School, through the eighth grade. Donald also attended Jordan High School, through his sophomore year, before he fraudulently enlisted in the United States Navy (with help of Father Peter altering his baptism record). Donald served 3 ½ years, mostly as a gunner’s mate on four different Patrick Henry Class Liberty Ships. He was honorably discharged in December of 1945.

At a school dance, Donald caught the eye of Marjorie Schweitzer. Their loved flourished and upon him returning home from the war, Donald and Marjorie married on May 18, 1946, at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church, Jordan, MN. They settled their roots in Jordan, with a home built across the street from his business and later 2 homes by the Mill Pond. Here, they raised 7 children, Gary, Douglas, Barbara, John, Mary Beth (Mazie), Laurie and Sue. When time allowed, the Undesser family enjoyed vacations to Grandpa Schweitzer’s cabin, renting a cabin on a lake or the great camping journey to the Black Hills, SD.

In 1946, Donald founded Don’s Standard Gas Station. He was a pioneer as a full-service station, with a convenience store concept too. He ran the business for 42 years, until retiring and selling in 1987. In retirement, Don dappled for a while selling cars, renewed his interest in golf, but mostly enjoyed playing cards with his friends. As a couple, Donald and Marjorie fell in love with the Florida panhandle and started a 10-year stretch of wintering for up to 2 months at a time.

While visiting his son Doug and wife Julie in Whidbey Island, WA, Donald suffered a stroke. The stroke damage was minimized, which also led to the next decade of additional medical issues. His daily routines became much more simplified. He still enjoyed his time being on the tractor mowing lawn. Donald remained an avid sports fan, especially of the Minnesota Twins and Vikings. His true passion was his family. The blessing of grandchildren and great-grandchildren enriched his life immensely. His days were still full, with not a lot of reflection, but still lots of activity.

The legacy of Donald will remain in the hearts of his beloved wife, Marjorie (Schweitzer) Undesser; sons, Gary Undesser, Douglas (Julie) Undesser, John (Mary) Undesser; daughters, Barbara (Fiancé Dave Johnson) Wolner, Mary Beth (Gary) Pauly, Laurie (George) Honza, Sue Raddatz; grandchildren, Meghan (Nick) Detjen, Kyle (Katie) Undesser, Jenna (Nate) Sulerud, Kayla Undesser, Kristina (Joshua) Zwart, Jennifer (Patrick) Cantwell, Alissa (Cody) Ahmann, Mike (Carolyn) Wolf, Ashley (Donnie) Rooney, Brittany Raddatz, Jake Raddatz; 15 great-grandchildren; brother, Florian (Fran) Stang; many family and friends.

Donald was welcomed home in heaven by his father, John Henry Undesser; mother, Ann Undesser (Nick) Stang, brother, Leroy Undesser; sister, Anita (Charles) Mettille.

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Condolence Messages

  1. Marcy and Jim Pauly


  2. Thinking of you all… Don will be missed!
    Love and hugs, Jeff and Brenda Pauly

  3. So sorry for your loss !!
    He truly was one of Jordans all time greats, no matter how busy he was he always dropped what he was doing to repair my bike. always a highlight visiting with him at church,
    Chuck Busch

  4. Gene & Mary Grommesch

    Our sympathy and prayers goes out to your family. Will always remember Don’s Standard as a great place for the kids to hang out. Your dad always welcome everyone. He was a great guy and will be deeply missed.

  5. I am so very sorry for your loss. May God bless you with beautiful memories to bring you peace and comfort during this difficult time.
    Vicki Cison from Tealwood Senior Living.

  6. Russ and Pat Rego

    Barb , “celebrate” —– Your Dad was truly blessed, 7 children, 11 grandchildren,and 15 great grandchildren.. We never met him but he must have been a special man . We send our love and condolences.

  7. Prayers and Condolences to wonderful man and a wonderful neighbor. I remember living right next to the Standard station. Don always worked on our cars and had a good cre

  8. It is with great sadness that I learn of Dons passing. Have known him since 1955 when he operated the Standard station in Jordan.While in the Jordan area I would visit a few minutes to let him know of a favor he gave me years ago. which was so much appreciated.

    To the family my condolence……….My he rest in peace

    Bill Browning
    Quincy IL

  9. Lee and Sandy Slavicek

    Undesser family, we are so sorry to hear about the loss of Don. You are in our prayers during this difficult time.

  10. Don was a blessing to all, a wonderful neighbor and friend. God be with you and your family.

  11. Sad to hear of your loss. I worked for Don while in high school at the station. He was a good man and the wisdom he shared went far beyond oily rags and keeping a paper ledger. Prayers for comfort.

  12. thomas breimhorst

    My personal condolences to Mrs Undesser and all of your extended family. I will always remember him as he was one heck of a nice guy, a good person, great dad. I hope you all will come together for a celebration of the life of one unusually extraaordinary person. May God Bless him and all of you Tom Breimhorst

  13. My heartfelt sympathies go out to the family and friends. May you find some comfort in the promise found in Revelation 21: 3-4 and 1Thessalonians 4:14. Knowing that there is an opportunity to be reunited with loved ones.

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