The Journal & Tioga Tribune

Donald Unhjem

Donald Unhjem

Donald Unhjem

Donald Kirk Unhjem, 59, Crosby, passed away Tuesday, December 7, 2021, at his home in Crosby.

Don was born August 10, 1962, in Hialeah, Florida. He was the only child of Donald E. and Marta (Perez) Unhjem. His grandparents were Florencio and Victoria (Buttari) Perez formerly of Cuba and Knute Unhjem and Gladys and John Ebreck of Crosby.

Don was raised and educated in Hialeah, Florida and later earned a degree in marketing and business from Granite State College, New Hampshire. Don earned his pilot license by age 18 and a real estate license at age 20. Don worked for a number of years in the cruise line sales industry in Miami, Florida and enjoyed travels to many places. Don grew up in a bilingual household of Spanish and English and was hired as a language interpreter at the Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center, New Hampshire.

Following the death of his parents in 2000, Don lived in New Hampshire and enjoyed time with aunt and uncle, Col Stuart and Marletta Hodgeman. While there, Don began his work as a home furnishing sales associate with JC Penny Co. and learned much about living in the north country, cold temperatures and SNOW. Don adapted well and made several good friends, and served on the board of the Plainfield Community

Baptist Church.

Don’s interests included theater and enjoyed trips to New York and Broadway as well as theater in Vermont and New Hampshire. He enjoyed any discussions about history and politics and was a great team player in a game of Trivial Pursuit.

In 2006, Don seized the opportunity to move to North Dakota and was transferred to J.C. Penny’ Co., Williston, where he lived for two years. Don’s failing health forced him to stop work and he then fulfilled a dream of living on the Unhjem farm he had inherited from his father and where he had spent several happy family vacations as a child, with his parents and grandparents and his son, Donnie and daughter Jessica. Don was glad to again be surrounded by his loving and caring uncle Ken and aunt Kay Unhjem and their families and was always included in their many family dinners and celebrations. He enjoyed getting to know his farm neighbors and was a member of Peace Lutheran Church, Troy Township.

Like his father before him, Don had a strong attachment and affection for his dogs. Throughout his life and wherever he lived, he did what he could to rescue and nourish and find homes for strays who passed his way.

Don is survived by daughter, Jessica Taylor; granddaughter, Hayden Hodgson; stepsister, Sonja Unhjem and her mother, Alynda Asher; uncle Ken and Kay Unhjem; aunt Elizabeth Moudy; aunt Marletta and Stuart Hodgeman; cousins Kent and LuAnn Unhjem, Kathryn and Jason Bakewell, Lance and Christine Muscutt, Brent and Laurie Muscutt, Stuart and Laurie Hodgeman and Lane and Julie Unhjem and friends made while living in Crosby.

Don was preceded in death by parents; grandparents; nephew Scott Unhjem and his beloved son, Donald K. Unhjem III.

Stakston-Martin Funeral Home, Crosby is in charge of arrangements.

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