Longtime CSU Animal Sciences supporter, Don Norgren, passes away at age 87

Donald K. Norgren, 87, of Platteville, passed away on May 4, 2020 in Greeley, Colorado. He was born to Carl and Juliet (Lein) Norgren on July 29, 1932 in Denver, Colorado.

Don married Donna Jackson, on August 18, 1951. Donna was the love of his life and together they raised a beautiful and large family. Their devotion to the family showed when the family would gather several times a year to celebrate the love that they created and enjoy the time together.

Don lived his entire life in Colorado moving only a few times to further their cowherd and family ranching endeavors. Originally started in South Dakota, the family ranch moved to the Denver area before Don was born and raised Hereford cattle on what is now Pinehurst Country Club. After he and Donna married, they moved their cow herd to Platteville where they ranched for decades. He took great pride in raising and selling Hereford cattle to ranchers all over the country. He and Donna held numerous production sales that would bring repeat buyers year after year, making Norgren Cattle Company well known in the Hereford breed.

Don became very involved and well known in many aspects of the cattle industry. He served on a multitude of boards which included Weld County 4-H Foundation, Weld County Fair Board, Weld County Livestock Association and the American Hereford Association. He also had memberships in a variety of cattle and livestock associations, both state and national. One of the most involved leadership roles Don undertook was with the National Western Stock Show (NWSS). He became a member of the NWSS in 1965 and then was named a member of the Board of Directors in 1971 and a member of the Executive Committee in 1977. Don held many leadership roles and was involved in numerous livestock committees associated with the NWSS. He also took great pride in being a sponsor of the Catch-A-Calf program since 1962. Spending time with youth and imparting cattle industry knowledge to them was something he greatly enjoyed. He kept in contact with many of the kids he sponsored even years after they finished the program.

Don was an avid supporter of Colorado State University (CSU). He graduated and walked at the age of 63 years from CSU with a bachelor’s degree. He saw to it that the Norgren Family supported future agriculturalists attending CSU and offered scholarships to help in their endeavors. He believed in the good that a land grant university could bring to education and believed in the future of agriculture with those students who were furthering their education.

As an associate member of the Pikes Peak Range Ride (PPRR) since 1959, Don didn’t miss many rides and enjoyed the lifelong friendships that were built. Through the PPRR they promoted the Pikes Peak or Bust Rodeo. Made up mostly of Colorado Springs area businessmen, Don played an integral role in connecting business and agriculture.

Don received numerous awards and honors over the years. In 1993, he and Donna were named the CSU Livestock Leaders of the Year. The NWSS honored him in 1999 by presenting him with the Stow Witwer Award for Outstanding Dedication to the NWSS Junior programs, and later went on to name him the 2002 Friends of the National Western Stock Show. In 2010 his family gathered to watch him become inducted into the Colorado Agriculture Hall of Fame.

His family describes him as a man of integrity and honor. He made every member of the family feel special and conversations that were had with him were intentional and full of purpose. The legacy that Don built made the entire family proud to be a Norgren. He is survived by his children, Steve (Charlotte) Norgren, Julie Harding, Chester (Dianne) Norgren, Carrie (Rod) Lenz, Debora Priest and Chuck Norgren; 21 grandchildren (19 spouses), 49 great-grandchildren; siblings, Leigh Norgren and Vanda Warner.

Don was preceded in death by his wife of 62 years, Donna; sons-in-law Michael Priest and Charles Harding; his parents and siblings, Neil and Gene.

Memorial contributions may be made to the following: NWSS Honoring the Legacy Campaign, Attn: Shelby Stephens, 4655 Humboldt Street, Denver, CO 80216 or by going to the Honoring the Legacy Campaign website (please note in Honor of Don Norgren); Colorado State University Foundation, P.O. Box 1870, Ft. Collins, CO 80522-1879 or via the CSU Foundation Giving Page (be sure to include Don Norgren in the Tribute section); and the Weld County 4-H Foundation, 527 N. 15th Ave., Greeley, CO 80631.

Condolences may be sent to the family to PO Box 539, Platteville, CO 80651.

A private family burial will be held. An open memorial service will be held at a later date.