Younglund, Donald E. Retired Wichita Public School Administrator, died July 7, 2016, at the age of 86. Born September 15, 1929 and raised on a dry-land farm in Garden County, NE. Donald graduated from a one-room county school in 1943, and one year of high school in Oshkosh, NE. His family moved to Boulder, CO in 1944, where he graduated at Boulder High School in 1947. He complete his Bachelor's degree at CU-Boulder in 1951. At CU-Boulder, he met Rita Mae Dotts, and they married in 1950. In 1951, they moved to Wichita and both became teachers for USD 259. After finishing his Master's of Education degree, he served as principal for seven years (MacArthur, McLean, and Jardine). In 1964, he completed his Doctorate of Education at CU-Boulder and served in several capacities as a school administrator until he retired in 1989. His last assignment was director of Youth Services for Superintendent Stuart Berger, 1987-1989. Don was drafted into the US Army in 1952. He served in the Korean Conflict as an MP in the 772nd Military Battalion in Pusan, Korea until 1954. After retirement, Don developed new interests in woodworking and collecting wood samples from all over the world. His creations earned him several blue ribbons at the Kansas State Fair. He and Rita traveled extensively in many countries. He assisted the Sherwood Glen Neighborhood Association for a decade and led the effort to create Sherwood Park. He also completed his autobiography and genealogy tracing his Swedish heritage to where his grandparents lived prior to migrating to Polk County, NE in 1868. A follower of Jesus of Nazareth, he joined the University Congregational Church, sang in the choir, and became a progressive Christian. Subsequent to Rita's death in 2009, he became a companion to his long-term friend, Dr. Janice Riordan. They traveled extensively together. His parents, Anton and Grace Younglund and four siblings, Basil, Mason, Shirley and Quentin, preceded him in death. Survivors include six nieces, Kathleen, Bonnie, Becky, Diane, Renee and Cindy, as well as several grand-nieces and nephews. Don's ashes will be placed in the Columbaria at the Kansas Veterans' Cemetery in Winfield at 10 a.m. Wednesday, July 13, 2016. His spirit has returned to his Heavenly Father. His influence will continue. A celebration of life will be held at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, July 12, 2016, at the University Congregational Church, 9209 E. 29th St. N., Wichita, KS 67226. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Mid-Kansas Chapter of the American Red Cross or the University Congregational Church.
Published in The Wichita Eagle on July 10, 2016