Rancho Mirage - Donald J. Charbonneau, 75, of Rancho Mirage, passed away on Friday, September 7, 2018 in Rancho Mirage after many lengthy illnesses.
Donald J. Charbonneau was born April 21, 1943 in Butte, Montana; the son of H.J. Frenchie and Mary (Kelly) Charbonneau.
Following graduation, Don continued his education at the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks, where he was a member of the Alpha Tau Omega Fraternity. In 1953, Donald's father purchased the Buick Dealership in Dickinson; this was also the beginning of his lifetime involvement in car distributor/dealership. Don served in the Army National Guard from 1967-1973 as Buck Sargent with a Combat Engineering Unit. Don married and was blessed with daughter, Danielle and son, Don Jr.
Don became a car distributor for Chevrolet Motor Division in Minneapolis, MN in 1970. He was a dealer and President of his dealership "Charbonneau Car Center". His primary makes were Buick - Pontiac - GMC truck - Chrysler - Plymouth and Dodge. Donald was an outstanding citizen in the Dickinson Community. He received many honors over the years. Don was a distinguished leader, his list of accomplishments include: Director of National Automobile Dealers Assn., Chairman of ND State CAR-PAC, served on Chrysler Dealers Council, treasurer of Buick Dealers Ad Assn., president of Dickinson Chamber of Commerce, recipient of Time Magazine Quality Dealer Award. Career achievements include: Car Distributor, Chevrolet Motor division dealer and president, also receiving recognition in the 1993 - 1994 edition of Gilford's "Who's Who, The Elite Registry of Extra-ordinary Professionals".
His civic and charitable involvement includes: Dickinson Chamber of Commerce President, Greater ND Association Director, Dickinson Golf Assoc. Director, Dickinson Elks - Exalter Ruler, National Elks District Deputy Grand Exalted Ruler, Drivers Education cars for schools, Governor's committee of ND State for Economic Development, Republican Party Delegate, Director of West Dakota Buick Dealers and GMC Dealers.
Don enjoyed all sports, with a special interest in boating, golf, and car racing. He and Irene spent most of their retirement years in CA.
Don is survived by his wife, Irene of Rancho Mirage, CA; daughter, Danielle McClure of Denver, CO; granddaughter, Taya McClure; and sister, Pat (Charbonneau) Berg, and nephew, Eric Berg. He was preceded in death by his parents and son, DJ (Don Jr).,
A Celebration of Life service for Donald Charbonneau will be held on September 22nd at 2pm at his home. FitzHenry-Wiefels Palm Desert has been entrusted with arrangements.