The joy and gift of the Resurrection is especially poignant this year. It's been an interesting week. We've enjoyed some wonderful visiting, and a rather nasty shock, but we are hopeful and peaceful, and focusing on enjoying time with loved ones.
Please note the following was written with my brother's quirky sense of humor in mind, and find no offense.
Donald Lloyd Kautz was born November 10, 1952 to Oscar "George" Kautz and Edna Mae "Babe" (Joslyn) Kautz in Rock Rapids, Iowa. He attended Central Lyon High School, graduating in 1971(to his surprise and everyone else's). He enlisted in the Air Force immediately after graduation, and served until 1982, attaining the rank of Staff Sergeant. He married Victoria McWhirter of Dallas, Oregon at Peace Lutheran Church in Rock Rapids on August 15, 1972. Together they served their country in SE Asia, Florida, the Netherlands, Nebraska and Montana. They parted ways in 1982. Don cultivated his lifelong love of racing in the hobby shops on base and driving on local tracks, especially Sunset Speedway in Omaha. After his years of service, he stayed on the move, living in Luverne, MN; Rapid City and Sioux Falls, SD; Rock Rapids; Montevideo, MN and, finally, Watertown, SD. He was married to Nancy Ditmanson of Sioux Falls from 1986-1988. 'Nuff said. He drove school buses and semi trucks, ran a security company, worked in various bakeries and restaurants, ran away with the carnival and ran for mayor, finding friends in the faces he met along the way. In 1990 he married Susanne Larson of Sioux Falls, enjoying 13 years of marriage. He occasionally still built cars and raced at Rapid, Husets, Fiesta City, and Casino Speedways.
Don was known for his unique sense of humor and quick wit; he especially enjoyed puns and wordplay. Don loved music, singing and playing his treasured Alvarez guitar. He delighted in spoiling his four nieces and nephew before sending them back to their parents. In 1995, Don was diagnosed with Huntington's Disease. In 2003 he reunited with Vicky, his companion until his sudden death on April 9, 2009.
Don is survived by Vicky in Watertown, and Susie in Rock Rapids, sister Kathi (and Gary) Wibben of Rock Rapids, Iowa; sister Georgette (and Kyle) Jones of Watson, MN, niece Jennifer (and Brian Wynia) Wibben of Hull, Iowa, nieces T'Shael, Paige, Geordan and nephew William Jones of Watson, three great-nephews and in-laws and outlaws abounding.
Memorial services and military honors will be held at a later date in Rock Rapids.