Donald P. “Don” Gisi, 85, of Aberdeen, passed away November 27, 2019, at his residence.
Mass of Christian burial will be 11:00 a.m., Thursday, December 5, 2019, at Sacred Heart Catholic Church, 409 3rd Avenue SE, Aberdeen, with Father Mark Lichter, Celebrant. Military rites, conducted by Sidney L. Smith American Legion Post #24 of Aberdeen, will take place immediately following Mass.
Schriver’s Memorial Mortuary and Crematory, 414 5th Avenue NW, Aberdeen, is handling arrangements.
Visitation will be 5-7 p.m., Wednesday, at the mortuary, with a liturgical wake service beginning at 7:00 p.m. Visitation continues one hour before Mass at church on Thursday.
Family and friends may sign Don’s online guestbook and view his service via the live stream service link at www.schriversmemorial.com.
Donald P. Gisi was born on March 3, 1934, to James and Anna (Hoffart) Gisi. Dr. H.I. King followed a snow plow through a March snow storm to the family farm to deliver him. Don grew up on their farm, where his love for horses and ability to ride began at an early age when he received a pony from his sister.
Don attended St. Mary’s Parochial School and then Aberdeen Central High School. Following high school graduation, Don began working at Franklyn Dairy, where he was employed until October, 1953, when he was drafted into the United States Army. Don served his country during the time of the Korean War, eventually earning the rank of Sergeant and Platoon Leader. Upon receiving his Honorable Discharge and returning to the states in 1955, Don continued his work at Franklyn Dairy until 1956, when he moved to Tacoma, Washington. While living in Tacoma, he attended Barber College. One year later, following graduation, he returned to Aberdeen and began working at Sid and Don’s Barber Shop.
Don was united in marriage to the love of his life, Joanne P. Hovland, in Aberdeen. The couple purchased the Gisi farm from Don’s parents and made it their home. It was on the farm where they raised their two sons, Tim and Todd. Don barbered for two years at Sid and Don’s Barber Shop before becoming employed at Al’s Barber Shop on South Main Street in 1959. After five years, he purchased the shop from Al and changed the name to Shear Happiness, where he continued to be the owner and operator until the time of his retirement. In all, Don barbered for a total of 55 years. In addition to barbering, he also raised and showed horses. Along with these activities, Don was also instrumental in developing and incorporating Centennial Village at the Brown County Fairgrounds. He served on the Board of Directors for over 30 years and via his membership in the Aberdeen Exchange Club, always made sure the United States flag was proudly displayed at the village.
Don served as a member of the Barber Board of Directors for over eight years, a member of the Knights of Columbus, Catholic Order of Foresters, Aberdeen Exchange Club, and was a life-time member of the VFW. In his younger years, Don loved fishing, horseback riding and visiting his cousins and friends that lived closed to his farm. When Don began his own family, he enjoyed taking the boys fishing and helping them work on their go-karts. Don truly loved being a husband, father, and grandfather and was very proud of his family. He also greatly enjoyed and appreciated the friendships made during his barbering career.
Grateful to have shared Don’s life are his sons: Tim (Louis) Gisi of Minneapolis, MN and Todd (Sheri) Gisi of Peoria, IL; three grandchildren: Zach, Mcke, and Daryn; and two sisters, Monica Kuebler and Delores Grote, both of Aberdeen.
Don was preceded in death by his wife, Joanne; his parents, James and Anna; one brother, Jerome; and two sisters, Marie and Bernice.
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