January 15, 1943 - September 4, 2016


Don Tainter, age 73 of Coon Rapids, formerly of Elk River died on Sunday, September 4, 2016 at CentreCare Health in Monticello while surrounded by his family. Donald Carl Tainter was born in Anoka, Minnesota on January 15, 1943 to Roy and Hazel (Jones) Tainter. The second of 8 children, Don was a good big brother, but was also known as a “hoodlum,” racing the police (his uncle was an officer) in order to win pie!

After attending school in Anoka, Don married his first wife, Carol. To this union four daughters were born. Don married his second wife, Nancy, and his fifth daughter was born. Don deeply loved all of his girls.

Don loved old cars and was a talented auto body mechanic. In his dreams he owned a 1940 Chevy, but in life he had the privilege and worked hard on his 1947 Ford Coup, his 1955 Ford Pickup and his 1939 Roadster. Attending car shows made Don smile. He also enjoyed camping at Fools Lake with his family. So many fun memories were made with his grandkids at the lake. Fishing was a priority and he loved to tell the story of when he caught a 25lb. Northern Pike while fishing with Brad. No “tall tale” fish story here, Brad was there to confirm it! A talented dancer, Don was also on American Bandstand a couple times.

When Don became blind in the late 1990’s, he attended Minneapolis School for the Blind. Since he had enjoyed woodworking prior to losing his eyesight, he would make birdhouse templates that others at school would put together. He made many birdhouses, wagons and other keepsake items for his family.

His children remember most how very giving their dad was. It made Don feel good to give and he would always rather give than receive. Except maybe for the bags of popcorn and sugar free candy his girls would sneak to him these past few years. He taught the girls the importance of saving money and budgeting, and they fondly remember him hiding cash in the freezer. “When you were with him, you were his favorite… Dad wanted everyone to feel special to him.”

Don will be loved and greatly missed by his children, Kandy (Mark) Morgan, Sharel Schmolke, Shella (Robert) Jungroth, Shelly (Brad) Skochenski, and Jody (Joe) Stanhope; 12 grandchildren; 20 great-grandchildren; his siblings, Karen, Judy, Everett “Bud,” Earl, and Roy; many nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.

He is preceded in death by his parents; his 11 year old brother, Jerry; his brother Alan; and his first wife, Carol Collins.

A Celebration of Don’s Life will be held on Thursday, September 8, 2016 at 11AM at the Williams Dingmann Funeral Home in Princeton with a gathering of family and friends one hour prior to the service.