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Dr. Donald Porter Naismith

Dr. Donald Porter Naismith

Dr. Donald Porter Naismith was born on April 22, 1931 to Sylvia (Porter) and

Merle R. Naismith in Lakota, North Dakota. He died peacefully at Northwood Deaconess Nursing Home on January 16, 2014. Donald and wife, Shirley (Drake) were married on January 28, 1953 would have celebrated their 61st wedding anniversary this year.

Don and Shirley met in 7th grade. After graduating from Lakota High School in 1949, he earned a Mechanical Engineering from the University of North Dakota (UND) and was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the US Air Force and was honorably discharged from the reserves as Captain in 1976. He returned to UND and earned a masters degree in 1959 and in 1966, a Ph.D. in Nuclear Engineering from Iowa State University. He assumed the chair of UNDs Mechanical Engineering Department in 1969, a position he held until his retirement in 1995.

Dr. Naismith was an unselfish servant to his profession and the university. He received many national and state awards throughout his distinguished career. In 1994, members of the Society of Women Engineers endowed the Donald P. Naismith Scholarship at UND. Don was a strong advocate for the women in his life. Karen Nyberg, a UND mechanical engineering graduate, SWE member and NASA astronaut gave UNDs Summer, 2013, commencement speech from the International Space Station. She recognized Dr. Naismith for his contribution to her "outstanding education and the excellent preparation that she received". Though he was ill, he heard the speech and was very pleased to receive this public honor.

Don and Shirley designed and built the family home in Grand Forks. He was often found in the shop, building or fixing anything. He was an avid gardener and had a beautiful yard, which provided many hours of fun for the family. He loved to hunt and fish with friends and family and taught the grandchildren about wildlife habitat. He was a wonderful father and role model for his three daughters, encouraging them that with education, respect, honesty, integrity and hard work, they would have rewarding careers. He taught them that all problems had solutions, that being on time was a given, that tools should be cleaned and replaced, that good grammar and proper etiquette was essential. He also taught them how to laugh and how to cry. He passed on a strong legacy to them and to their families. He is very much missed but the family is at peace because he is with the Lord and free from the pain and suffering that he endured.

He is survived by his wife, Shirley. Daughters: Jean Gullicks (Harvey), Grand Forks; Laurie Berg (Jonathon), Northwood/Hatton; and Margo Bergene (Kent), Fridley, MN. Grandchildren: Donald Gullicks (Monica), Columbia,MO; Grant Gullicks, Anchorage, AK; and Selam Gullicks, Grand Forks; Jane Ostlie (Richie),Mayville; Julia Fry (Justin), Crosslake, MN; Jeanmarie Dahl (Preston), Grand Forks; Callie Stadem (David), Sioux Falls, SD; Clara Bergene, St. Paul, MN; Christine Bergene, Fridley, MN; also Grandfather to Sean and Sara Kosednar of Kansas City, KS; and Derek Drake of Minneapolis, MN. Great-grandchildren: Michael and Jacob Gullicks, Hannah and Lydia Ostlie, and Calvin Fry. He is also survived by brother-in law Leroy Alwin, Waukesha, WI, sisters-in-law; Gloria Drake, Missoula, MT, Inez Drake of Grand Forks, ND, Audrey Swanke of Lakota, ND and numerous cousins, nieces and nephews. He is preceded in death by his parents.

Visitation will be Sunday, January 26, 2014 from 3:00-5:00pm, prayer service at 4:30pm officiated by Pastor Keith Becker and Pastor Paul Redding at Amundson Funeral Home in Grand Forks. The funeral will be held at 11:00 am, Monday, January 27th at Hope Covenant Church in Grand Forks with visitation from 10:00-11:00am, followed by fellowship at the church. The interment will occur at Lakota Cemetery in the spring.

A guestbook may be signed or viewed at