Cover photo for Donald A. Short's Obituary
1932 Donald 2022

Donald A. Short

April 13, 1932 — December 17, 2022


Donald “Don” Aubrey Short, 90, passed away Saturday, December 17, 2022. Don was born in Juanita, ND, on April 13, 1932, to Aubrey and Florence (Vining). After many moves, in 1942 the family settled on a small farm in Pelican Rapids, MN. Don attended middle and senior high school in Pelican Rapids, where he was center on the basketball team and, according to his sister, Trish, read every book in the high school library.

Don attended Minnesota State Teachers College (now Minnesota State University Moorhead) on a basketball scholarship. He graduated with an undergraduate degree in English and a Master’s in Education. At MSTC, Don also met his future wife, Donna Rae Pender, whom he married in 1954.

Over the next six years, they lived in Montana, Minnesota, and Missouri. Their first son, Niles, was born in 1958 in Rochester, MN. In 1960, the family moved to Rota, Spain. Don taught photography and English to the children of Navy officers on the naval base. During the two years there, their daughter, Sherry, was born. Following, Don taught English at Jamestown College. Their second son, Nathan, was born in Jamestown, ND. The family then moved to Pittsburgh, PA, where Don attended the University of Pittsburgh. He was awarded a PhD in English Literature in 1969.

In the fall of 1969, Don returned to his alma mater, which was now Moorhead State College (now Minnesota State University Moorhead) , to join the faculty of the Department of English, where he spent the remainder of his career. A few years after his retirement, Donna Rae, his wife of 47 years, passed away.

Don’s interests were diverse. He enjoyed fishing, hunting, photography, ham radio operating, and growing squash, hot peppers, and tomatoes. He was an excellent cook. Influenced by the travel to Spain and international friends he met in graduate school, he cooked paella, huevos a al flamenco, and bouillabaisse. He also liked a good Midwestern steak and potatoes. He made homemade hot sauce when the garden harvest came in as well as rhubarb sauce and jams. He was an avid reader, sometimes reading two or three books in a day. He refereed high school football until he was 69. Hearing Louie Armstrong live in the late 1950s triggered his enthusiasm for New Orleans jazz. He traveled to New Orleans for his birthday for many decades. He also enjoyed cross-country motorcycle trips to Santa Fe, Albuquerque, and Oregon, and often spent a winter month renting a house on the South Carolina coast.

He is survived by his children, Niles Short (Minnewaukan, ND), Sherry Lee Short (Fargo, ND), and Nathan Short (Moorhead, MN); grandchildren, Andria Livingstone (Fargo, ND) and Amber Tostenson (West Fargo, ND); great grandchildren, Aaliyah, Samantha, Levi, and Eleanor; sisters, Marilyn Abrahamson (West Fargo, ND) and Patricia Tomlinson (Portland, OR).

He was preceded in death by his parents; wife, Donna Rae; sister, Bonita Lestina; and great grandson, Oliver Duane Tostenson.

Memorials can be sent to Oliver’s Purpose Undesignated memorials will be donated to the same.

A Celebration of Donald’s Life will be 11:00 AM, Monday, January 16, 2023, in Korsmo Funeral and Cremation Service, Moorhead, MN, with a Gathering of Family and Friends one hour prior.

(Korsmo Funeral and Cremation Service, Moorhead, MN)

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Donald A. Short, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Celebration of Life

Monday, January 16, 2023

Starts at 11:00 am (Central time)

Korsmo Funeral & Cremation Service

409 8th Street South, Moorhead, MN 56561

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