Don was born Sept. 22, 1953, in Sioux City, the son of Herbert and Florence (Clausen) Althaus. He was baptized and confirmed in the Lutheran faith at Salem Lutheran Church Correctionville. His childhood was spent on the family farm near Pierson until the age of 16 when his family moved to Kingsley. He attended Kingsley-Pierson School, graduating in 1971. In high school he excelled in football, track, and wrestling, qualifying for state in wrestling his senior year. Don was awarded a wrestling scholarship to Northwestern College in Orange City. He graduated from Northwestern College in 1975.
After college graduation, Don, along with his father and brother David, operated Althaus Construction for several years in the Kingsley area.
On June 12, 1981, he married Ann Muller in Remsen. They lived in Kingsley until July of 1985 when they moved to Victoria, Texas, for employment purposes. While living in Victoria, Don coached Little League baseball and volunteered with the Special Olympics. In August 1991, Don and Ann moved to LaCoste, Texas. They were divorced in June of 2002, but remained friends. After the divorce, Don moved to San Antonio, Texas. For the last several years he was employed as a warehouse manager for Labatt Food Service in San Antonio.
Don loved living in Texas and embraced the Texas lifestyle, but he remained a loyal Hawkeye fan. He was also a big fan of the San Antonio Spurs and the Fiesta San Antonio festival. He was a music lover and had an extensive collection of albums and CDs.
Don loved to laugh and among the many good friends he made in Texas he was known as "Laughing Don." A generous and caring person; even in death the donation of Don's corneas has given the gift of sight to two people in Texas.
In addition to extended family and many old friends in Northwest Iowa, those left to cherish his memory include: brothers, David (Diane) of Sioux Rapids, Richard (Patsy) of El Cajon, Calif., and Gary (Tracey) of Sioux City; a sister, Barbara Fletcher of Kingsley; a sister-in-law, Barb Post-Althaus of Des Moines; 15 nephews and nieces; Travis Fletcher, Sherri DeJoode, Rich Althaus II, Rob Althaus, Ryan Althaus, Randy Althaus, Suzanne Haight, Zach Althaus, Kristina Althaus, Aaron Althaus, Alison Althaus, Adam Althaus, Alan Althaus, Karl Althaus, and Gavin Althaus, and several great nephews and nieces.
Don was preceded in death by his parents; a brother, James; a brother-in-law, Terry Fletcher, and a nephew, Mark Althaus.
An Open House celebrating Don's life will be held at the Johnson - Earnest Funeral Home in Kingsley, from 2 to 4:30 p.m. Saturday May 2, with family present. He will be buried in a private ceremony at the Rock Branch Fairfield Cemetery with Pastor Ken Kraft officiating.
Stories, memories and expressions of sympathy may be directed through www.mauerjohnsonfh.com.