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Donald R. Abraham


1935 - 2017 Obituary Condolences
Donald R. Abraham Obituary
Donald R. Abraham

Donald Ray Abraham of Elk Point, SD died January 28, 2017 in Norman, OK while visiting family members. A memorial service will be held February 4, 2017 at 10:30 am at Brule Creek Lutheran Church of rural Elk Point with Pastor Steve Martens officiating. The family will be present one hour before the service.

Donald was born September 20, 1935 to Roy and Sarah (Sommervold) Abraham near Spink in rural Union County South Dakota. All four of Don's grandparents were born in Norway. He was the second child of the family with an older sister Shirley (now deceased) and younger brother Robert (Marilyn) of Alcester, SD. His youth was spent on his parent's farm and his education began in a one-room school house called Pleasant Hill. He graduated from Alcester High School in 1954, was honorably discharged from the US Army after 3 years in 1959, graduated from Augustana College (BS) in Sioux Falls 1961, University of Wyoming (MS) 1963, Kansas State University (PhD) 1972.

He married Mary J. Urbigkit in August 1963 in Riverton, WY. The couple have two sons David (Cindy) of Wauchula, FL and Elk Point, SD, and Eric (Jane) of Norman, OK, and three grandchildren Ryan, Ethan, and Emily.

Don and Mary Abraham enjoyed extensive travel visiting every state in the US and 36 countries worldwide. Included in these travels Dr. Abraham was employed by Indiana University in Malaysia for 2 ½ years, and by Waldorf College in Tanzania, Africa. He was a professor of physics at the University of South Dakota for 17 years where he served as chair and retired in 1997. He pursued research in his field of nuclear physics at three National Laboratories: Los Alamos, NM, Oak Ridge, TN, and Argonne, IL as well as Kansas State University. He was the first president of the Elk Point Jefferson Educational Foundation organized to provide scholarships for EPJ students. He was a member and past president of the Lions Club in Elk Point. He has served on boards of Thrivent Financial, Bethesda of Beresford, The American Farm Bureau, Union County Irrigators, and SD Corn Producers. Don was a past council member for Brule Creek Lutheran Church, Elk Point, SD and Grace Lutheran Church, Springfield, IL.

Donald's favorite pastime on the farm which he and Mary owned and operated in Union County was training saddle and driving horses. They used them for many pack trips into the Rocky Mountains, Black Hills, and other national forests. More recently he has pursued the less rigorous pastimes of playing bridge with his wife and chess with his grandchildren.

He is survived by his wife, sons, brother, grandchildren and many nieces and nephews.
Published in The Argus Leader on Jan. 31, 2017
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