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Donald D. Tessendorf

Donald D. Tessendorf Donald Dee Tessendorf, 89, of Manhattan, KS, died May 20, 2021, at the Good Shepherd Homecare and Hospice House in Manhattan.

Don was born on November 10, 1931, in rural Onaga, KS, to Nellie Marie (Hiser) and Henry Robert Tessendorf.

He was raised on his family’s farm in rural Onaga. He attended school at Eureka School and Onaga Grade and High School, graduating in 1950.

Helping at the farm as a youngster, they farmed with horses and purchased their first tractor toward the end of WWII. He lived from the early days of few modern conveniences to today’s multitude of aides for modern life. He farmed with his father after high school.

He was united in marriage to Carolyn R. Cramer of Manhattan on May 22, 1954, at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Manhattan. They lived on an adjoining farm for about 2 ½ years. They moved to Topeka where Don was a route salesman for Ripley’s Laundry and Cleaners for five years. They moved to Wamego in 1961 so their sons might enjoy the unique benefit of a smaller town. Don was employed at Daylor Motors and Wamego Motors as service manager. He was employed at USD 320 for many years in several roles including maintenance and custodial, groundskeeper and bus driver. He especially enjoyed activity trips for sports, school interest groups, FFA Conventions and many other activities. For several years he ran his own auto repair shop.

Don had a lifelong connection to farming including the years he spent in the Zeandale area. He loved the land and was intent on preserving that heritage in the younger generation.

He enjoyed sports in school, especially football and track, and winning several awards. He had an almost innate interest in mechanical vehicles and John Deere tractors. He enjoyed hunting, fishing, boating, water skiing. camping and taking his family to many beautiful parks, forests, historic places including some foreign travel. Texas was enjoyed in the winter months some years.

Don was baptized and confirmed at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in Wamego. He sang in the church choir and served as Sexton for a time remaining a member for the years he lived in Wamego. In the 1990’s he participated in a mission trip to Venezuela with other Episcopal churches from northeast Kansas. He was also baptized by immersion in Texas in 1999. After moving to the Zeandale area he became a member of the Zeandale Community Church in 2004.

Don enjoyed friends, music, talks around the campfire, the company of his sons and granddaughters, people he worked with, planning life, business and activities with his wife, car shows in the park, cooking out and the beauty of nature and animals.

Don was also a member of FFA and NRA.

Survivors include his wife Carolyn of the home; his son Steven D. Tessendorf of Evansville, IN; two granddaughters: Lauren A. Hurstell (Douglas) of Bacliff, TX, and Katherine E. Tessendorf of Newburgh, IN; nephews and niece: Larry and Hugh (Cheryl) Tessendorf and Roberta Tessendorf; and many grandnieces and grandnephews and cousins.

Don was preceded in death by his parents; his son Mark A. Tessendorf; and his brothers Robert D. and Harold D. Tessendorf.

Funeral services will be held at 1:30 P.M. Wednesday, May 26th, at the Yorgensen-Meloan-Londeen Funeral Chapel with Reverend Wesley Paddock officiating. Interment will follow in the Pleasant Valley Cemetery near Zeandale.

Online condolences may be left for the family by clicking on "Send Condolences" on this page.

Memorial contributions may be made to either the Zeandale Community Church or Good Shepherd Homecare and Hospice. Contributions may be left in care of the Yorgensen-Meloan-Londeen Funeral Home, 1616 Poyntz Avenue, Manhattan, KS 66502.

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