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Sylvester "Buster" Donat

Sylvester "Buster" Donat

Sylvester “Buster” Alvin Donat, 91, of Bemidji, Minnesota, passed away peacefully surrounded by loved ones on March 14, 2013 at Abbott Northwestern Hospital in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

He was preceded in death by his beloved wife, Neda (Marty), his son and business partner of many years, Larry, and his infant son, Lonnie. He was also preceded in death by his parents Joseph and Mary Donat, three brothers, Donald, Gene and Dale, and sister, Beatrice Marty.

Buster was born on February 24, 1922 in Grey Eagle, Minnesota, the eldest of nine children. He served his country honorably with the 12th Medical Depot Company for three years during World War II. During his time in service he toured both Africa and Italy. In 1964, he moved to Bemidji, Minnesota where he resided the remainder of his life. Buster was President of the Men’s Club at St. Pious Catholic Church. He also served many years on the Helga Township Board and with the VFW in Bemidji.

Though Buster worked at many jobs throughout his lifetime, he was a farmer at heart and loved the land on which he lived and worked. Many of his nephews and nieces learned to drive tractor, milk cows, and throw hay bales under Buster’s tutelage. He loved to play cards and fish, and was known for his smooth moves on the dance floor. His door was always open for family and friends. A man whose opinions and compassion were equally strong, Buster’s many stories and vibrant laughter will be warmly remembered by those who knew and loved him.

Buster is survived by his children, Butch and his wife Maxine Donat of Clearwater, MN; Lila Donat of Bemidji, MN, Laurie Vlach and Leone Rife, both of Rochester, MN; Tess and her husband Steve Sullivan of Crosby, MN; and daughter-in-law Susan Donat of Bemidji, MN. Buster is also survived by his siblings Sam, Daryl, Arlene Kudak and Lila Jean Connant. He will be remembered fondly by numerous nieces, nephews, grandchildren, great grandchildren, great-great grandchildren, other relatives and friends.

Visitation will be from 5:00 until 7:00 PM at Olson-Schwartz Funeral Home in Bemidji, with a prayer service beginning at 5:30, Wednesday, March 20. Funeral services for Buster will be held at 2:00 PM at St. Philips Catholic Church on Thursday, March 21, with viewing one hour prior to service. A meal will be served at the church following the service. The burial service will be held at a later date.

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