Donald Priebe

donald priebe

Donald (Don) Priebe passed away Thursday, January 29th at home under the care of Hospice Red River Valley and surrounded by his loving family.

Don was born July 19, 1927 in Columbus, ND, the firstborn son of Walter and Clara (Watterud) Priebe. He was baptized and confirmed in the Lutheran church.

His early education was in Columbus area schools.  He taught in rural schools in Burke County from 1949-1954 and received his Bachelor of Science with Honor in Agricultural Education from NDSU in 1956. He was a Vocational Agricultural Instructor and FFA Advisor in Kenmare, ND from 1956-1967.  In 1968 he earned his Ph.D. at the University of Minnesota and served on the staff of the University of Minnesota Agricultural Education Department from 1967-1969. Don was also a member of the Honor Society of Agriculture Gamma Sigma Delta, Phi Kappa Phi and several other organizations.

In 1969, he moved with his family to Fargo, ND where he served as Professor and Chairman of the Agricultural Education Department until he retired as Professor Emeritus in 1990. He was instrumental in helping to establish the Farm and Ranch Management Education Program for adults in ND schools.

Faith, family and friends were most important in Don’s life.  He was a member of St. Paul’s Free Lutheran Church, served as Chairman of Church Council, taught Adult Bible Study, and attended Bible Study Fellowship International for many years.

Don married Ione McMartin in 1958 at St. Thomas, ND.  They celebrated 56 years of marriage last June. While living in Kenmare, ND, they had two daughters (Sue and Jane).

He was a loving and giving father who always put his children first.  He became a grandfather in 1985 with the birth of his first granddaughter (Jennifer). He was also blessed with a grandson (Justin), two more granddaughters (Melissa and Kendrick), and three great grandchildren (Caleb, Hannah and Griffin).

Don was an avid reader, enjoyed all types of puzzles, and was an amateur radio operator for many years.  He earned an amateur extra class license and enjoyed contacts with other amateurs from many states and countries.  

Don was preceded in death by his parents and sister Marlys.  He is survived by his loving wife Ione; daughters Sue O’Neill of Tacoma, WA and Jane (Dana) Hanson of Brainerd, MN; grandchildren, Jennifer (Adam) Gourneau, Melissa Hanson, Justin Hanson, and Kendrick O’Neill; and three great grandchildren.

View current weather.

Memories Timeline


  1. Mapleton ND

    Ione I was sorry to see Donald had passed away, I’m so happy you could grant his last wish and take him home. It was so important to him. He was such a kind gentle man and a pleasure to care for. thank you for allowing us to care for you both. Chery Saari MCHS;

  2. Pullman, WAI was privileged to work with Dr. Priebe in the early 70’s. He was my undergrad advisor during my time at the University of Minnesota and again at ND

    SU. Dr. Priebe gave me an opportunity to head up the leadership of establishing the Ag Ed Farm and Ranch statewide education program. Gutsy call but we made it work. Hard work but fun. I am now retired from the Agricultural Education program at Washington State University. Without Dr. Priebe’s support, that would not have been possible.

    My condolences to Don’s family and friends. Don was a true leader, mentor and friend to many. A passing of an era in North Dakota Agricultural Education!;

  3. Fargo ND

    Much sympathy from the faculty and staff in the College of Human Development and Education, North Dakota State University.

    Virginia Clark Johnson, Dean;

  4. College Station Dr Priebe was a leader in agricultural education. He was a gentleman and scholar. His influence affected eternity. ;

  5. Corvallis OregonMy condolences to the Priebe family. I was fortunate to have Dr. Priebe as my college professor from 1972-1976. He was well known in the agricultural education profession as a gentleman and a scholar. ;

  6. Ione & Family – just wanted to send my sympathies to all of you. I met Donald at the clinic many years ago & always enjoyed visiting with him. You should know that he LOVED his family & grandkids so much & always talked about how proud he was of each & every one of you. Your husband / father / grandfather was a wonderful person & will be missed by many. ;

  7. Berthold ND

    I was saddened to read of the passing of Dr. Don Priebe. He was a mentor and a friend. He served as my advisor in obtaining my M.S. degree in Agricultural Education. Without his support and guidance I would not have made it to complete my degree. I always viewed Dr. Priebe as a gentleman and a man of highest morals and ethics. I am happy I was able to call him friend. My sympathy to the family. We who knew him and worked with him were honored with his knowledge and friendship.;

  8. Fargo ND

    I had the pleasure and honor of working with Dr. Priebe at ND

    SU for 14 years. He was a great mentor to me as that was my first position in higher education. I also knew him as a man of high integrity, devout Christian, and loving family man.;

  9. Hillsboro North DakotaI pause, in admiration, to relive the often observed professional educator of educators, as in response to a student utterance, whether simple or educated Professor Priebe would move away from the podium/overhead projector, and one handedly slip off his reading glasses, gaze to the student body, slip the temple of his glasses to his lips, listen, and respond with encouragement, in brief or detail, then most eloquently step toward the day’s lesson plan, glasses positioned, and continue on. He was a true professional, in the classroom, office, and I presume at home, church, and community. May he re rest in peace. ;


    I was sad to read about the death of Dr Priebe in the email I received. Dr. Priebe was my advisor in College. I credit him with much of my success in college and my teaching career. He was a excellent teacher and friend. I respected him and valued his opinion. We have lost a great man in Education. My thoughts are with the family and I will keep all of you in my prayers.;

  11. Bottineau ND

    I was one of Don’s ag education students at ND

    SU from 1974-78. He was always a perfect gentleman and the consummate professional. His words of encouragement kept me going when I needed it. Condolences to his family from my wife Karen and I. ;

  12. Fargo North DakotaDon and I were in college at ND

    AC at the same time. I knew Don as a thoughtful, gracious person and a good friend. His career was a very productive one in which he made a positive contribution to many young lives. ;

  13. Wahpeton ND

    Ione and family, we are saddened to hear that Uncle Don died. His bright eyes and handsome smile will be missed. He was well known and connected to ND

    SU through his teaching there and people would ask me if he was a relative and we would proudly reply \”Yes!\”
    Know now that Mark and I are keeping you in our prayers and hugging you with our hearts. Our sincere condolences and love, Jane;

  14. To Dons family I send my sympathy and remember Don’s help and mentoring as my graduate advisor when I moved from Mohall to Fargo. He and Shubel Owen were co-advisors to me and with Don’s passing I have lost two friends that each in their own way pushed me, encouraged me and allowed me to advance. My prayers are with you.

  15. Ione and family,
    So sorry to see the passing of Don in the Minot Daily. He was such a kind and gentle man!
    ” When someone you love becomes a memory that memory becomes a treasure.” You have many treausures and may that ease the pain of your loss.

  16. Ione and family, I get the Minot Daily on my I-pad and was sorry to read about Don’s passing. We extend our sympathy. Carol H once told me he was not well. May the many wonderful memories you have sustain you in you grief. Delton & Violet (Felan) Torno

Sign the Guestbook, Light a Candle