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Stephenson, Donald

Document Type

Oral History

Date of Interview



Donald Stephenson was born on 7 August 1925 in Spring Valley, Fillmore County, southeastern Minnesota, approximately ten miles north of the Iowa border. The youngest of six children, he attended local schools and graduated from Spring Valley High School in 1943. In August 1943 Don received his induction notice for military service, and he reported to Ft. Snelling in Minneapolis; there he was selected for the Marine Corps. Basic Training was at Camp Pendleton, in San Diego, California, and lasted until December 1943. In January 1944 Don was shipped to Hawaii, where he worked in the 2nd Marine Division as a classification specialist. Specifically, he worked interviewing individual Marines and classifying them according to education and civilian skills. He performed this duty in Hawaii until May 1945, when he was transferred to the Pacific island of Okinawa. Don remained on Okinawa until October 1945, when he was transferred back to Camp Pendleton. Don was discharged from the Marine Corps in February 1946. Again a civilian, Don used GI Bill benefits and from spring 1946 attended the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, graduating in 1950 with a degree in mechanical engineering. While a student he got married (in 1949, wife Marjorie May Anderson); Don and Marjorie raised two daughters. Don had a career with the St. Paul Insurance Companies, retiring in 1984 with thirty-four years of service. Following retirement Don worked a number of part-time jobs. At the time of this interview (May 2002) Don lived in Edina, Minnesota, a Twin Cities suburb. Don Stephenson died on 19 March 2012.


All rights reserved. No part of this work may be reproduced without the written permission of Concordia University Library or Thomas Saylor, Department of History, Concordia University, St. Paul.

Don Stephenson - Transcript.pdf (625 kB)
PDF Transcript of Interview with Don Stephenson