Donald Norgren

Donald K. Norgren

Friday, July 29th, 1932 - Monday, May 4th, 2020
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Donald K. Norgren, 87, of Platteville, passed away on May 4, 2020 in Greeley, Colorado. He was born to Carl and Juliet (Lein) Norgren on July 29, 1932 in Denver, Colorado.
Don married Donna Jackson, on August 18, 1951. Donna was the love of his life and together they raised a beautiful and large family. Their devotion to the family showed when the family would gather several times a year to celebrate the love that they created and enjoy the time together.
Don lived his entire life in Colorado moving only a few times to further their cowherd and family ranching endeavors. Originally started in South Dakota, the family ranch moved to the Denver area before Don was born and raised Hereford cattle on what is now Pinehurst Country Club. After he and Donna married, they moved their cow herd to Platteville where they ranched for decades. He took great pride in raising and selling Hereford cattle to ranchers all over the country. He and Donna held numerous production sales that would bring repeat buyers year after year, making Norgren Cattle Company well known in the Hereford breed.
Don became very involved and well known in many aspects of the cattle industry. He served on a multitude of boards which included Weld County 4-H Foundation, Weld County Fair Board, Weld County Livestock Association and the American Hereford Association. He also had memberships in a variety of cattle and livestock associations, both state and national. One of the most involved leadership roles Don undertook was with the National Western Stock Show (NWSS). He became a member of the NWSS in 1965 and then was named a member of the Board of Directors in 1971 and a member of the Executive Committee in 1977. Don held many leadership roles and was involved in numerous livestock committees associated with the NWSS. He also took great pride in being a sponsor of the Catch-A-Calf program since 1962. Spending time with youth and imparting cattle industry knowledge to them was something he greatly enjoyed. He kept in contact with many of the kids he sponsored even years after they finished the program.
Don was an avid supporter of Colorado State University (CSU). He graduated and walked at the age of 63 years from CSU with a bachelor’s degree. He saw to it that the Norgren Family supported future agriculturalists attending CSU and offered scholarships to help in their endeavors. He believed in the good that a land grant university could bring to education and believed in the future of agriculture with those students who were furthering their education.
As an associate member of the Pikes Peak Range Ride (PPRR) since 1959, Don didn’t miss many rides and enjoyed the lifelong friendships that were built. Through the PPRR they promoted the Pikes Peak or Bust Rodeo. Made up mostly of Colorado Springs area businessmen, Don played an integral role in connecting business and agriculture.
Don received numerous awards and honors over the years. In 1993, he and Donna were named the CSU Livestock Leaders of the Year. The NWSS honored him in 1999 by presenting him with the Stow Witwer Award for Outstanding Dedication to the NWSS Junior programs, and later went on to name him the 2002 Friends of the National Western Stock Show. In 2010 his family gathered to watch him become inducted into the Colorado Agriculture Hall of Fame.
His family describes him as a man of integrity and honor. He made every member of the family feel special and conversations that were had with him were intentional and full of purpose. The legacy that Don built made the entire family proud to be a Norgren.
He is survived by his children, Steve (Charlotte) Norgren, Julie Harding, Chester (Dianne) Norgren, Carrie (Rod) Lenz, Deborah Priest and Chuck Norgren; 21 grandchildren (19 spouses), 49 great-grandchildren; siblings, Leigh Norgren and Vanda Warner.
Don was preceded in death by his wife of 62 years, Donna; sons-in-law Michael Priest and Charles Harding; his parents and siblings, Neil Norgren and Gene Koelbel.
Memorial contributions may be made to the following: NWSS Honoring the Legacy Campaign, Attn: Shelby Stephens, 4655 Humboldt Street, Denver, CO 80216 or by going to the Honoring the Legacy Campaign website (please note in Honor of Don Norgren); Colorado State University Foundation, P.O. Box 1870, Ft. Collins, CO 80522-1879 or via the CSU Foundation Giving Page (be sure to include Don Norgren in the Tribute section); and the Weld County 4-H Foundation, 527 N. 15th Ave., Greeley, CO 80631.
Condolences may be sent to the family to PO Box 539, Platteville, CO 80651.
A private family burial will be held. An open memorial service will be held at a later date.
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    Mizpah Cemetery
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Heartfelt Sympathies Store

Posted at 09:31am
We are thinking of you during this difficult time.
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Heartfelt Sympathies Store

Posted at 08:21pm
We are deeply sorry for your loss. You family is in our thoughts and prayers during this difficult time.
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Cindy Brown

Posted at 02:39pm
To the Norgren Family in loving memory of one of my favorites, Don. A kind, gentle, soft spoken soul. May you Rest In Peace.
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Ken Brown

Posted at 11:25am
My father’s lifelong friendship with Don Norgren began at Colorado A&M in 1951. Dad had returned from service with the Marine Corps in China after the end of World War II, and attended college thanks to the G.I. Bill. Don was far too young to have been subject to the draft or to the need for military personnel--he would have been only about 13 years old at the end of the war. And yet, with 5 years separating them in age, they both ended up at Colorado A&M and, as luck would have it, became brothers in the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity--Chuck in 1950 and Don in 1951. Dad in August 1950 (just a year after meeting her), he married Barbara Brookhart, a Colorado A&M sophomore from Colorado Springs, and the next year in the same month, Don married Donna Jackson from Denver. The two couples were then woven inextricably into a friendship that would continue until Barbara’s untimely death in 1962--and then beyond, through Donna’s passing, Dad in 2017, and now Don. These are rare friendships to have witnessed; and I am forever grateful for the joy it gave my parents to have the Norgrens in their lives.

I looked forward each summer to the times when Don would drive down to Colorado Springs with Donna, horse trailer in tow, and check in--always--to the Palmer House in order to join Dad on the Pikes Peak Range Ride. Don’s first ride was as Dad’s guest in 1957. He was welcomed as a member two years later and made the annual ride 41 times, and later even though not riding, would loyally drive down to join Dad--his old friend who was also not riding--to sit, relax and enjoy each other’s company among other good friends. In the early years, we would take to making visits to the Platteville ranch in the summer around Range Ride time, and the Norgren tribe would teach the city kids the ways of ranch life, thus creating a friendly bond between generations of two families who learned the values of hard work and humility from the “head of the table."

I always looked forward to seeing Don each year. He was a strong and silent hero to me. Quietly, he would observe; rarely would he comment, but when he did, it was always a with a keen and candid sense of human nature. Honest as the day is long. Loyal and open to all. When my sons, Ted and Bryson came along on the Range Ride, one of their favorites was always Don. He went out of his way to be a good and steady counselor to them.

I have added a few photos from the Range Ride over the years--from the earliest days in the late 1950s where Don looks oh so young; and with Donna, Barbara and Chuck, too, at the annual Cowboy Ball in February, which Don and Donna religiously attended. But my favorite is the photo of the “three amigos”--Don, Harlan Ochs and my father--lounging in the long grass during a break in the ride one sunny summer day in 1965. Three good men in their prime, enjoying their company in the great outdoors, confident in the future, grateful for the past. One true cowboy and two sometimes cowboys--but all part of a great western tradition of the “Cowboy Way.” Courage, pride, persistence, duty, fairness, loyalty, honesty, humility. Norgie had it all.

Kristi Armijo Posted at 06:09pm

Those pictures are amazing! Thank you so much for your kind words and for sharing with us.

Chester Norgren Posted at 06:13pm

Thank you Ken. The range ride was something dad always looked forward to. He and your dad always had a great time when they were together.

Ken Brown & Elizabeth Sanjuan

Posted at 10:52am
Steve, Julie, Chet, Carrie, Deb and Chuck - With all our love. Your mom and dad were great friends to the entire Brown clan--as are all of you. K&E
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