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Donald Eugene Elkjer

Donald E. Elkjer, age 97, of Willmar, died Wednesday afternoon, February 5, at St. Marys Care Center in Winsted.

A memorial service will be 11:00 a.m. Saturday, May 10, at First Covenant Church in Willmar. Interment will be at Fairview Cemetery in Willmar. Military Honors will be performed by Austin F. Hanscom American Legion Post 167 of Willmar. Visitation will be one hour prior to the service at the church. Arrangements are with Peterson Brothers Funeral Home in Willmar (

Donald Eugene Elkjer was born December 20, 1916, in Willmar, Minnesota, the son of Erick and Esther (Pederson) Elkjer. He grew up in Willmar and attended Willmar Schools, graduating in 1936. On August 18, 1936, he married Helen Nichols in Dassel, Minnesota. He joined the U.S. Navy in 1943 and served during World War II. After the war, he was employed by F.W. Woolworth Company, and they lived in several communities in the upper Midwest area. For over 15 years, he owned and operated Dinky Town Dime Store on the University of Minnesota campus. In 1973, they returned to Willmar, where they owned and operated the Hallmark Card Shop. He retired in 1978, and they lived on George Lake for many years before moving back into Willmar. He was a member of the Kandiyohi County Historical Society and American Legion Post 167.

Donald is survived by a sister: Marilyn (and Jerry) Anderson of New Hope; a sister-in-law: Millie Nichols of Willmar; and numerous nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents; his wife: Helen in 2007; three brothers: Vincent, Carroll and one in infancy; and a sister: Pearl Nelson.