Donald L. Kitzman, 92, Brooklyn Park formerly of Mesa, AZ
July 29, 1922 - April 19, 2015
Funeral services will be at 12:00PM Monday, April 27, 2015 at the Camp Ripley Chapel, 15000 Highway 115, Little Falls, MN 56345 for Donald L. Kitzman, 92, who passed away Sunday, April 19, 2015 in Brooklyn Park. Rev. Thomas Becker will officiate and burial will be in Minnesota State Veterans Cemetery, Little Falls. Visitation will be one hour prior to the services on Monday at the Camp Ripley Chapel, Little Falls. Arrangements have been entrusted to Williams Dingmann Family Funeral Home, St. Cloud.
Donald L. Kitzman was born July 29, 1922 near Eagle Bend the son of Charlie and Edith (Anderson) Kitzman. He attended elementary school in Todd County, graduating from high school in Fargo, ND. Don attended Gale Institute in Minneapolis; graduating with a degree in communication and transportation. He drove semi for Six Transfer for five years, during which time he attended school. Don married Geneva D. Macho on May 25, 1946 in Corpus Christi Catholic Church in St. Paul. He entered military service in early 1943, during WWII, joining the 87th Mountain Infantry Regiment at Fort Ord, CA, to take Amphibious Training. On August 15, 1943 he was in the first wave that invaded Kiska in the Aleutian Islands. The thick fog caused many casualties, with the exchange of gunfire and the planting of booby traps by the Japanese. The 87th Mountain Infantry Regiment returned to the United States late in 1943 and became a part of the 10th Mountain Infantry Division. In January of 1945 the division was shipped to Italy and attached to General Mark Clark’s 5th Army. As Ski-Troopers with Mountain Training, they were selected to become the main force to drive the enemy stronghold from the Appenine Mountains across the Po Valley and into the Alps at which point the Germans surrendered. After a few months as a part of the army of occupation, the Division returned to the United States. Don was honorably discharged from the United States Army in the latter part of 1945. Don was awarded one Battle Star for action in the Asiatic Theatre of Operations, two Battle Stars for action in the European Theatre of Operations, Good Conduct Medal, Expert Infantryman Medal, Combat Infantryman’s Medal, Expert Rifleman’s Medal, American Campaign Medal, Victory Medal, Bronze Star for Valor awarded with citation, and Bronze Star Cluster for WWII Combat.
Don was an active member of the National Association of the 10th Mountain Division, Past President of the Arizona Chapter; North Central Chapter and the Sierra Nevada Chapter. He was a life member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, the American Legion, Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad Veterans Association, and the 3rd and 4th Degree Knights of Columbus. Don was also a member of Holy Cross Catholic Church in Mesa, AZ.
As an agent telegrapher, Don worked for the Northern Pacific Railroad (Burlington Northern and Santa Fe Railroad) for 15 years. Then, for 25 years an agent for the State Farm Insurance Company in Drayton and Grafton, ND until his retirement in 1987.
Geneva and Don resided in Leisure World, Mesa, AZ since February of 1993, until moving to Brooklyn Park, MN in 2012.
Don is survived by his wife, Geneva of Brooklyn Park; sister, Arlene Bauer of Long Prairie; sisters-in-law, Lorraine Macho, Jean Kitzman; and many nieces and nephews. He is preceded in death by his parents; infant son, Rodger Lynn; brothers, Norman and Ivan; sister-in-law, Norma Kitzman; brother-in-law, Bob Bauer.