Donald “Don” A. Potratz, age 87, of Parkers Prairie, died unexpectedly on Tuesday, January 28, 2020, in his home.
A memorial service will be held at 1 p.m., Saturday, February 8, 2020, at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Parkers Prairie with Rev. Kirk Lee officiating. Music is provided by organist, Maureen Diedrich and soloists, Kevin Siefering and Emily Siefering. Interment is at Parkers Prairie Cemetery.
Visitation is 5-8 p.m., Friday, February 7, at Lind Family Funeral Home in Parkers Prairie and will continue one hour prior to the service at the church.
Donald was born in Parkers Prairie Township on December 2, 1932 to Albert and Elsie (Freudenberg) Potratz. He was baptized on Christmas Day, 1932 at Immanuel Lutheran Church with Pastor Sieving officiating. He was confirmed by Pastor Ansorge on June 2, 1946, also at Immanuel. Don graduated from Parkers Prairie High School in 1950 and worked for several local farmers. He studied agriculture for one quarter at the University of Minnesota. Don served for two years in the US Army starting in 1953. He did his basic training at Fort Lewis near Tacoma, Washington and was stationed in Germany. After coming home, Don worked at American Can Company in St. Paul. He returned to Parkers Prairie in 1956 and started farming with his grandfather, Peter Freudenberg. He purchased the farm in 1957 and lived there the rest of his life.
After returning to Parkers Prairie, Don met the love of his life, Kathryn Ruckheim. They were married on September 6, 1958 in St. James Lutheran Church in South Effington. They were the parents of four daughters. Kathryn died unexpectedly on January 19, 1992.
Though he retired from active farming, he remained very vigorous and busy, maintaining his house and farm buildings. Don had a strong Christian faith and was an active member of Immanuel all his life, singing in the choir for many years. More than anything, Don loved gatherings with family and friends. These were often mentioned prominently in his beautifully hand-written Christmas letters. He had an amazing recall of names, places and dates and always remembered birthdays and anniversaries with a card.
Don was preceded in death by his wife; parents; daughter, Sheila Rothfusz; and two sisters, Norma Thor and Lois Potratz.
Don is survived by three daughters, Sara (Dan) Wacker of Albion, Iowa, Sonia (Kevin) Siefering of Excelsior, and Sylvia Abelseth of Minnetonka; son-in-law, Michael (Lila) Rothfusz of Waconia; eight grandchildren, Karl (fiancée Meg) Wacker, Christian (HillieRe) Wacker, Joel Wacker, Kyle Siefering, Emily (fiancé Jake) Siefering, Bryan Siefering, Aaron Rothfusz and Leah (Robert) Perry; two great-grandchildren, Emma Wacker and Emmitt Perry; brother, Edward (Janet) Potratz; sister, Kathy (Duane) Wienke; brothers-in-law, Marvin Thor, Richard (Carol) Ruckheim, and David (Melva Jean) Ruckheim; and an aunt, nieces, nephews and cousins.
Urn bearers will be Karl Wacker, Kyle Siefering and Leah Perry. Honorary urn bearers are his remaining grandchildren.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorials to Immanuel Lutheran Church, Parkers Prairie.
To send flowers to Donald's family, please visit our floral store.
Immanuel Lutheran Church
709 S Douglas Ave, Parkers Prairie MN 56361