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Don Albertson

October 27, 1937 - June 15, 2018

U.S. Veteran
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William D. Albertson (Don) left his beloved A bar T (A-T) Ranch surrounded by his earthly family to rejoice with his heavenly family on Friday, June 15, 2018 at the age of 80.
Services will be held Saturday, June 23, 2018, at Northside Christian Fellowship located at 4400 Colburn Culver Road at 11 am with Pastor Barry Johnson officiating, followed by a military graveside service at Pack River Cemetery. A reception will follow at the home of his son Scott, 1791 Gold Creek Road.

Don was born October 27, 1937 in Sandpoint, Idaho to Bill and Wilma Albertson.  Don and his older sister, Irene (Neely), had many fond memories of growing up on the Albertson (A-T) Ranch, located on Gold Creek, where Don spent most of his life.  They agreed if they were poor they didn’t realize it; when they really needed something, their dad found a way to provide it and their mother could make a delicious meal out of anything.

Don attended Grouse Creek School for grades 1-7.  The primary means of getting to school was by horseback and there was a horse barn where they went out and took care of their horses at recess. Entering 8th grade, Pack River, Grouse Creek and Selle schools consolidated into the Pack River School (which is now Northside Elementary) where Don graduated as 8th grade valedictorian.

His summers were spent working on the ranch and exhibiting his heifer at the Bonner County Fair under 4-H leader, Francis McNall.
Don attended Sandpoint Senior High School, graduating in 1955.  Don loved playing football and had great admiration for his coach Cotton Barlow, later coaching with him at SHS.
Don received an academic scholarship to the University of Idaho and graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in agriculture in 1959. Don would later go to Washington State University receiving his Masters Degree in Biology.  Upon graduating in 1959, Don was commissioned a second lieutenant in the United States Army Artillery and entered active duty.
Don met Terri Ham at a dance at the Oden Hall and they were married on July 21, 1959.  A marriage that lasted 59 years.  Their honeymoon consisted of travel to Fortsill, Oklahoma in a 1956 Ford, where Don attended Artillery school and then on to Fort Bliss in El Paso, Texas, for missile school.  After graduating from Paratrooper School in Georgia, Don and Terri were stationed in Hawaii for 3 years.  During their stay in Hawaii, 2 daughters were born, Nani (Albertson) Gray and Tracie (Albertson) Roos.

Don left military service in 1963 and returned to Bonner County where he built his family’s home on the A-T Ranch.  Two sons joined the family, Thomas in 1964 and Scott in 1968.
Don confirmed his belief in Jesus Christ in 1984 when he was baptized in Gold Creek by the Reverend Chuck Wigton of First Christian Church.  It was important for Don to share his belief with family members and later in life, his active participation in Bible study groups.  He was a member of First Christian Church and Gideon’s International.
Don taught high school biology at Sandpoint High School for 33 years, teaching generations of Bonner County students.  He also coached football for many years.  He taught biology for North Idaho College also for several years.

Don was active in many community organizations. These included former master of the Pack River Grange, the Pack River Cemetery board, president of Bonner Boundary Cattleman’s Association, and president of Northside PTO.  He was on the Bonner County Planning and zoning committee, board member of Bonner County Historical society, and a member of the Bonner County education association. Don is survived by his wife of 59 years, Terri; his daughters Nani Gray (Tom) and Tracie Roos (Don).  His sons, Tom Albertson (Cindy) and Scott Albertson. Daughter in law, Teresa Albertson.

Grandkids Kara Spohn; Zach and Leslie Spohn; Daniel Roos (Kendal); Tanner Roos; Nick Albertson (Tasha); Jean Luc Albertson; Madeline Albertson; Tobias Shaffer (Dani); Camille Fuller (Calvin); Jamey Lovell (Aurora); Joey Lovell (Kelly). 15 great grandchildren; a niece Linda (Neely) Chapin and nephews Randy Neely; James Ham and Mark Ham. Sister in law Donna Ham and several other family and friends.  Don was preceded in death by his parents; his sister Irene; brother in law, Ernest Neely; brother in law, Larry Ham and infant granddaughter, Laura Roos.

Don always felt so lucky to be able to grow up on the A-T Ranch and passed that love of the ranch life on to his family.  He was especially proud he was able to celebrate the A-T Ranch 100th anniversary in 2016.

Because education was so important to him, the family will establish a scholarship in his name to be awarded to a SHS senior who plans on pursuing a degree in education, science, or agriculture.