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Dr. Donald Henry DeKrey

Dr. Donald Henry DeKrey

Dr. Donald Henry DeKrey, 86, of Bemidji, MN, died Sunday, February 9, 2014 at Sanford Medical Center, Fargo, ND after complications of pneumonia.

Funeral Services will be 1:00 p.m., Saturday, February 15, 2014 at First Lutheran Church, Bemidji with Pastor Linnea Papke-Larson and Rev. Jim Vadis officiating. Visitation will be 4-7 p.m., Friday, February 14, 2014 at the Olson-Schwartz Funeral Home and one hour prior to the service at the church. Interment will be in Greenwood Cemetery, Bemidji.

Donald Henry DeKrey was born September 29, 1927 to Hannah (Begeman) and John DeKrey Jr. on the family farmstead outside Pettibone, ND. Upon high school graduation, Don worked one year on the family farm and then taught grades 1-8 in a one-room schoolhouse in Kidder County. A year later he attended UND graduating June 5, 1951 with a BA in journalism. While in college he worked at KNOX radio selling advertising. Don married his college sweetheart, Ione Louise Anderson on June 20, 1951 in Lincoln, NE. Don earned a Masters degree in psychology August 13, 1953. He taught at Bemidji State College in 1958 for three years full time and then as an adjunct professor for many years. Don earned his PhD in Clinical Psychology from UND in February 4, 1962. He went to work at the Upper Mississippi Mental Health Center in 1962 where he was a psychologist, clinical director and executive director, retiring in 1998. He was widowed in 1986 and later married Connie Simenson on September 26, 1993. He was widowed a second time on May 3, 2001. On July 13, 2002 Don married Petra Hegstad. He was a member of First Lutheran Church and served as president for two years. Other memberships include the Elks Club and BSU Legacy Foundation. He served on the North Country Regional Hospital Board as well as the Paul Bunyan Playhouse Theater Board. Don enjoyed woodworking, reading, gardening, fishing, traveling, the outdoors, and especially his morning coffee, breakfast and lunch groups.

He is survived by his wife, Petra (Hegstad) DeKrey of Bemidji; children, Nancy DeKrey-Glenn, of Bemidji, Dr. Steve (Veronica) DeKrey of Manila, Philippines, Dr. Dan (Beth) DeKrey of Bemidji and Betsy (Chris) Tower of Hopkins; 8 grandchildren, Matt Hammond, Kimberlee and Katrina DeKrey, Jenny, Kathy and David DeKrey, Hannah and Natalie Tower; brothers, John Edward "Brownie" (Alpha) DeKrey of Pettibone, ND, Jim (Elsie) DeKrey of Sioux Falls, SD and Ted (Joan) DeKrey of Pettibone, ND and many nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents, John & Hannah DeKrey; wives, Ione DeKrey and Constance Simenson-DeKrey; brothers, Fred and Dave DeKrey and sister, Betty DeKrey.

The family prefers memorials either to First Lutheran Church or to Bemidji State University Foundation DeKrey Scholarships.

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