Donald J. Espe  1949 - 2021

Donald J. Espe, age 71, of Bigfork, MN, passed away, Wednesday, February 10, 2021 at his home. 

Donald was born in 1949 to Donald and Hazel Espe in Hibbing, MN.  Don graduated from Hibbing High School. Following graduating from high school, he attended Hibbing Vo-Tech and served in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War. Upon his honorable discharge from the service, he worked in the mines and as an electrician for the local union.  Don was united in marriage to Joyce Huchthausen on August 15, 1992 at the Church of Acts in East St. Paul, MN.  Following retirement, Don and Joyce moved to rural Bigfork, MN in 1999 where he worked many jobs that he enjoyed that were “all part of the adventure”. 

Don was a member of the NRA, he enjoyed working with and fixing guns, he was active with the local four-wheeler club in the Bigfork and Balsam area where he worked on four-wheeler trails and taught classes for the youth on ATV safety.  Also, he enjoyed photography and playing music with his wife, Joyce, for the residents at the Bigfork Valley Nursing Home and at the Fellowship of Believers Church. Don loved the Lord Jesus, the Father, and Holy Spirit with all his heart. He often brought anointed messages to the Body of Believers at the church.

Donald is preceded in death by his parents, and a brother, Robert.  

He is survived by his wife of 27 years, Joyce; daughter, Ericka (Andrew) Stooksbury of Mahtomedi, MN; stepson, Joel (Christine) Huchthausen of Waterford, VA; stepdaughter, Lani Huchthausen of Las Vegas, NV; grandchildren; Noah, Nathan, Asher, and Levi Stooksbury, Rachel and Claire Huchthausen, and Conrad and Julian Hull; three sisters, Lorraine (Gary) Westerlund of Coon Rapids, MN, Mary (Frank) Grovers of Big Bar, CA, and Linda (Mike) Champion of Rochester, MN.

A visitation will be on Friday, February 19, 2021 at 1:00 PM at Rowe Funeral Home, Grand Rapids, MN followed by the 2:00 PM funeral service. Elder Doug Folsom will officiate. Burial with full military honors will be at Itasca-Calvary Cemetery, Grand Rapids, MN.

Arrangements are with the Rowe Funeral Home and Cremation Services of Grand Rapids, MN. To sign the online guestbook or send condolences visit

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