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Donald J. Moll

Donald J. Moll

July 21, 1926 - June 19, 2014

Donald J. Moll, age 87, of rural Atwater, died Thursday morning, June 19, at his home surrounded by his family.

Services will be held 11 A.M., Tuesday, June 24, at St. John Lutheran Church north of Atwater. The interment will be in the church cemetery. Friends may call from 5-8 P.M., Monday at the Peterson Brothers Atwater Funeral Home and at the church one hour prior to the services. (

Donald John Moll was born July 21, 1926 to Adolph and Bertha (Schutt) Moll and baptized 18 days later at St. John Lutheran Church of Atwater. Donald spent his entire life on the Moll farm four miles north of Atwater, Minnesota, homesteaded by his great-grandfather in 1871. Donald attended eight grades of school at St. John and was confirmed there in 1939. He graduated from Atwater High School in 1943 as the valedictorian. He received a scholarship to attend college, but being an only child, Donald felt a duty to remain home and join his parents in farming. On June 3, 1951 at St. John, he married Betty Behm, who would be his companion for 63 years.

Donald took pride in farming, constantly improving the land, buildings and equipment. During his career he raised corn, soybeans and small grains, plus dairy cattle, feeder cattle and hogs. He was proud that his girls (heifers) were frequently sold as Prime. Donalds soft side showed when he caringly nursed sick or injured livestock back to health. Even in his 80s, he didnt want to miss out on farm activities. When having his knees replaced, he scheduled the surgery early enough so that he would be healed in time for spring planting.

Faith in Jesus was the center of Donalds life and he eagerly studied the Bible, digging into the truths of scripture. A lifelong member of St. John, he served 6 years as Elder, 6 as Trustee, 12 on the school board, and 40 as an usher.

In his youth, Donald enjoyed fast-pitch softball where he excelled at playing shortstop, hitting, and base stealing. He also enjoyed hunting, making several trips to Wyoming to hunt deer in the wide open spaces. Donald was a skilled woodworker, often using wood from trees on the farm. He made numerous treasured items for his wife, children, and grandchildren. He was especially known for crosses and bowls made out of lilac wood. In later years Donald and Betty took many bus site-seeing tours, crisscrossing the land from Alaska to Florida, Nova Scotia to California.

A farmer until the end, when told on May 15 that he had advanced cancer, he went home, got up in the tractor, and fed the cattle one more time. The next day he was admitted to Meeker Memorial Hospital and later transferred to Ecumen Senior Care. On June 12 his family moved him back home where he passed away on June 19 at the age of 87 years, 10 months, 29 days.

He is survived by his wife Betty Moll; children Alan (Tammy) Moll of Atwater, Marlene (Jim) Christenson of Andover, Brian (Rebecca) Moll of Atwater, and Mary (Tim) McCarthy of Cottage Grove; twelve grandchildren; and one great-grandchild, Alexander Thomas. Donald was preceded in death by his mother (1982), father (1986), and an infant son, Wayne (1958)