Don was born on August 12, 1936 in the small town of Maddock, N.D. to Kalmer and Mabel (Storrud) Brandvold. He grew up in the even smaller town of Hesper, N.D. He attended a two-room country school in Hesper through the 8th grade. Then he boarded in Maddock to attend high school and graduated in 1954. He wanted to go to college but had no money, so he joined the Army and served from 1954-1957 which qualified him for the G. I. Bill. While in the Army he was assigned to the Missile Corp at Ft. Bliss, TX. He loved the southwest and wanted to return some day. He attended college at North Dakota State University where he met his wife, Lynn. They were married during their senior year and went on to graduate school together. He graduated with a Ph. D. in Chemistry in 1965 and accepted a job in the Chemistry Department at New Mexico Tech in Socorro, NM arriving in the Fall of 1965. He coached city Pinon and Little League football, basketball, and baseball teams years before he had children old enough to play on the teams. He continued until his children were too old to play. He also played softball for the First State Bank team for years. He was a founding member of the Socorro Outdoor Association which sponsored the first fishing derbies in Socorro. He retired after 37 years of teaching and research. He was a man of the highest integrity and touched the lives of so many students and individuals.
He leaves his wife of 60 years, Lynn; his son, Evan (Dionne); his daughter Beth Wiese (Daren); six grandchildren and nine great grandchildren. He was a wonderful husband and outstanding father and grandfather. We miss him already.