Donald Maurer Profile Photo

Donald Maurer

d. January 7, 2022


Donald Maurer died peacefully at his home in Stillwater, Minnesota with his family surrounding him on Friday, January 7, 2022 after a long battle with cancer. We celebrate the life of a most remarkable man, son, husband, father, uncle, engineer, inventor, entrepreneur, artist, teacher, writer, golfer, photographer, author, dog lover, and friend to many.

Don was the son of Delbert H. Maurer and Vivienne (Cairy) Scott. He was born in Lead, South Dakota and lived with his grandparents in a log home and attended Sunny Glen one-room school in the Black Hills. He attended high school in Sioux Falls, SD and enlisted in the US Navy after graduation. He served as an electrician on the carriers U.S.S. Saratoga, the U.S.S. Coral Sea, as well as the Navy seaplane-tender U.S.S. Duxbury Bay. Don attended the Milwaukee School of Engineering and graduated as an electrical engineer from South Dakota State University. On September 2, 1967, he married Judy Abbott—his loving wife for 54 years—at Hamline United Methodist Church in St Paul, Minnesota. They drove off from the wedding for a two-day honeymoon in his 442 Olds which he loved almost as much as his wife.

Don worked as an electrical engineer at Medtronic when it employed still less than 100 workers. Always having had an open and exploring mind, Don continued to work on his education in Ames, Iowa, graduating with a masters degree in bio-medical engineering. Don always felt that some of his most fulfilling and meaningful work was the two years spent as a rehab engineer at Courage Center.

The Maurers raised their family in Anoka, Minnesota. and belonged to Champlin United Methodist Church with their two sons, Daniel and Joseph.

Don was an enterprising person, and in 1977 he founded Empi, Inc. From its earliest days of struggling to make ends meet to its eventual sale in the 1990s, Don grew Empi from a small re-marketing company to a successful manufacturing business of electrical medical devices using TENS and other technology. Many medical devices were developed by him and his engineering team.

In 1991, Don and Judy moved to Marine on St. Croix, Minnesota. Then in the late 90s, Don and Judy bought a winter residence on Sanibel Island in Florida. He and Judy were active members of Christ Lutheran Church (ELCA) of Marine, and Sanibel Congregational United Church of Christ (SCUCC).

Don loved his time in retirement and pursued many avocations he had developed over the years including art, theater, golf, reading, science, boating, and volunteering at churches and community activities. Recently, Don and Judy sold their homes in Sanibel and Marine and moved to Stillwater, Minnesota. His family will always remember him as a wonderful storyteller, a person curious about the world, a dedicated provider for his family, and a man with passion for life. He will be sorely missed.

Don is survived by his wife, Judith; his son Daniel and his wife Carol, and their children Joshua and Nathan, of Saint Paul, MN; his son Joseph and his partner Deirdre Jenkins of Eau Claire, WI; his brothers Maurice and Jerry, sisters Donna and Jeanne, as well as many nephews, nieces, brothers and sisters-in-law, friends, and coworkers. The family wish to thank special caregivers of hospice, family, and friends.

In lieu of flowers gifts may be sent to the Valley Outreach, the food shelf in Stillwater, MN or to Christ Lutheran Church. A celebration of his life will be held at Christ Lutheran Church, Marine on St. Croix, MN, on July 17 at 4 pm.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Donald Maurer, please visit our flower store.


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