With the words, “Good night Vonnie, I gotta go!” Donald Merlyn Hylden reached out his hand to his Savior Jesus Christ and bid farewell to those he loved. Don was born 11/17/1929 in the home on the 1881 original homestead farm to David W. Hylden and Alvina D. (Colsen). Don passed away at the First Care Health Center in Park River on 10/10/2020. He was the last surviving grandson of the pioneers in the Pleasant Valley farming community. He was baptized and confirmed at Pleasant Valley Lutheran Church of rural Park River. He attended Vernon Township country school and graduated in 1947 from WCAS where he was active in basketball, FFA and played the trombone in the band. Don farmed with his brothers after high school and then was drafted into the US Army. He served two years that included 8 months on the front line in Korea. Sergeant Hylden was honorably discharged in 1953.
Don was happily married to LaVonne J. (Lykken) for 68 years; they were united on July 3, 1952. Donnie and Vonnie had three children: Mark (Esther), Daniel (Carol) and Julie (Peter) Sondeland. Their 8 grandchildren are Jordan (Emily) Hylden, Jarrod (Elise) Hylden, Justin Hylden; David (Sarah) Hylden, Elisa (Tim) Stamps; Sadie (Ben) Storhaug, Abbie (Jacob) Hays, and Aaron Sondeland. 12 great grandchildren: Charles and Donnie Hylden; Winnie, August and Peter Hylden; Arthur and Elinor Hylden; Sahara, Tristan and Silas Stamps; along with Hadlie and Haven Storhaug.
Don served in his church as an officer and Sunday School teacher. He helped organize and was a charter member of Victory Free Lutheran Church after Pleasant Valley closed. Don was a past president of the Walsh County Farm Bureau, and a member of the local school board, Livestock association and the American Legion.
He was preceded in death by his parents David and Alvina, sister Dorothy Gronhovd and brothers Mike and Duane and granddaughter April Joy Hylden (Mark).
The funeral will be at Victory Free Lutheran in Park River on Thursday the 15th of October at 2 PM. Visitation will be Thursday for one hour prior to the service at the church. Military rites will be provided by the Paul Farup American Legion Post and the North Dakota National Guard Honor Guard. The motorcade to the Pleasant Valley Cemetery will pass by the Pleasant Valley Church where the US Flag will be at half-mast to honor the last grandson of the pioneers. Memorials will be used to fund the purchase and installation of a US Flag at the cemetery. Due to Covid-19 social distancing and face masks will be required.
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