Don passed away on Saturday, August 31, 2013 at Avera St. Lukes in Aberdeen, SD.

 Born December 23, 1935 in Hudson, Wisconsin to Edwin McMaster and Marguerite (Harsh) McMaster.  Edwin died in 1939.  In 1946 Marguerite married Charles Smith and Don was adopted by Charles.  Don graduated from Hudson High School in 1953.  He attended the University of Minnesota receiving his Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering in 1957.  He was a half time teaching assistant at the University of Minnesota from 1957-1959.  He was a full time instructor from 1959 to 1964, earning his Master’s in Electrical Engineering in 1960.  He served in the United States Army at Fort Monmouth, New Jersey, as a captain, working as an electronics engineer from 1964-1966.   After his discharge from the Army in 1966, he continued to work for the army as a civilian electronics engineer until 1968.  At that time he moved to Schenectady, New York working as an engineer for General Electric.  He received his PhD. from the University of Minnesota in 1968.   He left G.E. in 1974 to accept a faculty position at North Dakota State University, as an associate professor in the Electrical Engineering Department.  He was promoted to full professor in 1981. In 1988 he married JoEllen Leintz Kranz in Fargo.  From March of 1997 until his retirement he served as Associate Dean of the College of Engineering and Architecture at NDSU as well as continuing to teach.  He also served as interim department chairman several times.

Don was an active member of St. Anthony of Padua Catholic Church since moving to Fargo in 1974.  He was a member of the Knights of Columbus, was instrumental in starting the council at St. Anthony’s. He was a past Grand Knight of St. Anthony’s council, past Faithful Navigator of the Fourth Degree, of the Fargo Assembly, and past District Deputy.  He was an honorary life member of both the third and fourth degree Knights of Columbus.  He was a faculty advisor for Tau Beta Pi and Eta Kappa Nu engineering honor societies.  He was a member of the American Society of Engineering Education, a member of the Sigma Xi Scientific Research Society, and a member of the North Dakota Academy of Science.  He was a Senior Life Member of IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineering). He was an Associate of the Sisters of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and made perpetual commitment to the congregation in 2004. He was also appointed as the first lay co-director of Presentation Associates in June of 2004.

Don was preceded in death by his parents, his son Michael and grand-daughter, Samantha.  He is survived by his wife, JoEllen, his children, Daniel Smith (Paula), Littleton, CO, Teresa (Randy) Houkom, Fargo, Susan Houkom, Fargo,  Anne (Jon) Gossett, Fargo, Jessica Smith, (Fargo), stepchildren Charlie Kranz (Bobbi),  Phoenix, AZ, Nicholas Kranz  (Erica), Fargo and Melissa (Brandon) Johnson (Williston, ND), twelve grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren. He was also a beloved Tio to five Chicas in Phoenix, AZ. In lieu of flowers, memorials would be appreciated to the Presentation Foundation in care of the Presentations Sisters, 1101 32nd Avenue South, Fargo.

View current weather.

Memories Timeline

View the Timeline

Sign the Guestbook, Light a Candle

Sign the Guestbook