Donald D. Kaffine, age 90, of Bemidji; formerly of Deerwood, MN passed away on February 11, 2023 after a long battle with dementia. Donald was born on January 2, 1933 in Montreal, Wisconsin to Car Kaffine and Rose (Mezzano) Kaffine. He graduated from Hurley High School in 1950. He served n the U.S. Coast Guard for three years. Donald then attended Michigan Tech University in Houghton, Michigan. He graduated in 1957 with a degree in electrical engineering. He married Geraldine Zinzarella in 1960. He worked in Minneapolis, Minnesota at Control Data and Siemens Company until his retirement in 1997. His wife, Geraldine, passed away in 1992. He married Judith Masse of Bemidji in July of 1995. Donald and Judith made their home on Turtle Lake in Deerwood, Minnesota until they moved back to Bemidji in June of 2017. They shared nine grandchildren; Meg, Chris, Nick, Griffin, Avery, Clarissa, Jacinda, Emma and Tyler. Don enjoyed visits from family and friends. He enjoyed fishing (especially with the grandchildren.) he also enjoyed canoeing, walking on trails and wooded roads along the lakes, cross country skiing, bowling, the neighborhood cribbage group, and his weekly political discussion group at the North Country Café in Crosby. He was passionate about nature, bird watching, saving trees, and his wildflower garden. Don was intelligent, kind, quiet, a good listener, and an astute reader. He was a member of the Headwaters U.U. Fellowship of Bemidji and a Secular Humanist.
Don is survived by his children: Kenneth Kaffine of Minneapolis, MN, David (Joan) Kaffine of North Billercia, MA, Rosemary (Greg) Rustad of Edina, MN. Five grandchildren, Meg, Chris, and Nick Kaffine and Griffin and Every Rustad. His wife, Judith from Bemidji, MN. Judith’s children: Linda (Cate) Masse of Minnetonka, MN, Craig (Cindy) Masse of Edmond, OK, Jay (Angela) Masse of Bemidji, MN. Four grandchildren, Clarissa, Jacinda, Emma and Tyler Masse. Two brother, Carl Kaffine of Eveleth, MN and Lawrence (Mary) Kaffine of Rothschild, WI. As well as many nieces and nephews. He is preceded in death by his first wife, Geraldine, his parents, his brother James and his sister Nancy.
There will be a graveside service this summer in Iron Belt, WI for friends and family. A tree will be planted at Lake Bemidji State Park in Donald’s memory.
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