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Donald Laidley, 89 of Thief River Falls, MN, passed away peacefully at Oakland Park Communities, Thief River Falls on Wednesday, September 1, 2021 with his loving family by his side.

Visitation will be held from 5:00 PM until 7:00 PM with a 7:00 PM prayer service on Friday, September 10, 2021 at Johnson Funeral Service in Thief River Falls, MN.

The service to celebrate Donald’s life will be held at 10:30 AM on Saturday, September 11, 2021 at the United Methodist Church in Thief River Falls, MN with Pastor Jeff Gustafson officiating. Visitation will be one hour prior to the service. Military honors will be provided by the Ecklund-Holmstrom American Legion Post 117, Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 2793, and Minnesota Army National Guard Honor Guard.

Donald W. Laidley was born May 23, 1932 in Farley Township, Polk County, MN the son of Wilmer A. and Ethel (Johnson) Laidley. He attended country schools through the 8th grade and graduated from Warren, MN High School with the class of 1951.

Donald entered into service with the United States Army on September 16, 1952. He served in Korea for 16 months and was Honorably Discharged September 15, 1954.

On April 7, 1956, Donald was united in marriage to Melba Johnston in Thief River Falls, MN. They made their home near Warren, MN for 10 years where Donald worked as a farm laborer. To this union four children were born, Brenda, Gary, Greg, and Barbara. In 1966 the family moved to Thief River Falls where Don worked for the City of Thief River Falls until retiring in 1994. He started as Meter Reader and retired as Foreman of the Line Crew.

Don loved working in his vegetable garden and sharing his produce with family and friends. He and Melba were avid sports fans. They enjoyed following their children, grandchildren, and their friends in sports and different activities, rarely missing an opportunity to cheer them on.

He was a member of the United Methodist Church, American Legion Post 117, Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 2793, and the Eagle’s Club.

Survivors include his loving wife of 65 years, Melba of Thief River Falls; children, Brenda (Kurt) Marben of Thief River Falls, Gary (Leslie) Laidley of Thief River Falls, and Barbara (Terry) Storm of Walker, MN; five grandchildren, John (Cathy) Marben of Scottsdale, AZ, Ann (Wardell) Marben of Tempe, AZ, Beth (Tanner) Anderson of Rochester, MN, Taylor (Chauncey) Storm of Dallas, TX, and Turner Storm of Walker, MN; great-grandchildren, Jaida Marben, Rowan Marben, Bodi Marben, Sawyer Anderson, Autumn Smith, Sage Anderson and Anderson twin boys coming soon; sister, Verna (Marvin) Stave of Davenport, IA; and many nieces, nephews, relatives and friends.

He is preceded in death by his parents; infant son, Greg; brother, Willis; sisters, Marlys (Curtis) Helgeson and Eunice (Julius) VanBaalen.

Donald’s family extends a warm heartfelt thank you to his Oakland Park Communities family for their love, care, patience, and understanding.