Donald R. Frisby, Jr.

Donald R. Frisby, Jr. (84) died at home January 23, 2020 in Grand Rapids, Minnesota.

Don was born in Floodwood, Minnesota and lived there until he graduated from high school. After graduating from the Duluth Business School, he joined the U.S. Air Force during the Korean War. While serving in the Air Force, he met his soulmate and wife, Lucy. Together Don and Lucy raised seven children.

After leaving the Air Force, Don worked various jobs in Minnesota and Illinois. Eventually, the family moved to Grand Rapids, Minnesota and Don attended Itasca Community College and Bemidji State University. After graduating with a bachelor’s degree, Don taught wood shop, drafting and art at the Grand Rapids Junior High and Grand Rapids Middle School for 20 years.

In the early 1970’s, Don studied the art of log cabin building, then went on to design and build log cabins in the summers. In the 1980s, Don and Lucy moved to a farm near Floodwood. Don continued to teach in Grand Rapids and also raised heifers. Don was an avid fan of wildlife and ecology. He built hundreds of bird houses and planted thousands of trees during his lifetime.

After retiring from teaching, Don enjoyed studying nature, reading, traveling and watching hockey and classic movies. He also loved spending time with his family and volunteering with various organizations.

Don was preceded in death by his wife, Lucy, his children Stephanie and Kenneth, and his parents, Don and Helen.

Don is survived by his children Aletta, Letitia (Jim) Ekovich, Don (Carol), Tyanne (Jim) Betts, Jessica (Larry) Haakenstad, seven grandchildren, seven great-grandchildren, his brother Bill and numerous cousins, nieces and nephews.

A private family ceremony will be held at a later date.

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

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