Donald H. “Don” Gagne

Donald H. “Don” Gagne

Donald H. “Don” Gagne, age 90, of Dubuque, was called home peacefully at 4:30 a.m., on Saturday, March 14, 2020, at UnityPoint Health Finley Hospital, surrounded by his loving family. To celebrate Don’s life, family and friends may visit from 2:00 p.m. until 6:00 p.m., on Tuesday, March 17, 2020, at Behr Funeral Home, 1491 Main Street. To honor Don’s life, funeral services will be held immediately following visitation at 6:00 p.m., on Tuesday, at Behr Funeral Home with Deacon John Stierman officiating. Burial will be in Linwood Cemetery.

Don was born on May 16, 1929, in Dubuque, Iowa, son of Clarence and Blanche (Fisch) Gagne.

Don was united in marriage to Gloria Ryan and they were blessed with 4 children together. He was later united in marriage to Pamela Pearl Priebe on September 17, 1976, in Dubuque, and they have been blessed with 43 wonderful years together. Don was employed with Nurre Glass and the Dubuque Packing Company for several years. He founded the Tri-State Independent Blind Society in February of 1972, helping people who are visually impaired to lead more independent lives. Don served on many boards within the city, but his true passion was his work with the Blind Society. In his free time Don enjoyed listening to old time radio, playing cards, going to the casino and trips to Las Vegas with his family. He also enjoyed talking with people over the CB radio, his handle was “Frenchy”, and was a radio back-up man for the Dubuque Police Auxiliary. His family was beyond a doubt the most important aspect of Don’s life and he always made sure that everyone knew how important they were to him. The world is definitely a better place because Don was here with us, making a difference in the daily lives of countless people throughout the years. He will not be forgotten because he left a little part of himself in each of us.

Those left to cherish Don’s memory include

his wife,
Pamela Gagne, Dubuque, IA;

his children,
Cathy (Dan) Sauser, Hartford, WI,
Debbie Gagne, Dubuque, IA,
Michael (David Tejeda) Gagne, San Francisco, CA,
Mark (Tammy) Hittenmiller, Dubuque, IA,
Jenny Kelly, Dubuque, IA
and JoAnn “JoJo” Larson, Dubuque, IA;

his grandchildren,
Amy (Keola) Kalua, Matt (fiancé Krista Sobieski) Sauser, Andrew (Maria) Sauser, AJ Gagne, Christopher Hittenmiller, Bradley Hittenmiller, Brandon Hittenmiller, Tanner Hittenmiller, Samantha Launspach, Matthew Launspach, Jesse (Briana) Larson, Chad (fiancé Ashley McCormick) Larson, Kristina Larson, Kylie Larson-Blodgett, Penny Kelly and Catlyn Kelly;

his great-grandchildren,
Dylen Brzezinski, Kailyr Sauser, Kaiden Beyer, Carter Gagne, Zander Larson, Ethan Hittenmiller, Cole Hittenmiller and Weston Hittenmiller;

and his sisters,
Rosemarie Aird, Chicago, IL
and Violet Haverland, Cuba City, WI.

Don was preceded in death by his parents; his son, Joseph Michael Gagne; his 3 brothers, Elmer, Delbert and Kenneth Clyde Gagne; his former wife, Gloria Gagne; and his brothers-in-law, Arthur Aird and Eugene Haverland.

Don’s family would like to extend a special thank you to Keri, Emmy and Jennifer, and all who have cared for Don these past months.

Memorials will be accepted by the family to be distributed among his favorite charities.


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Behr Funeral Home
1491 Main Street, Dubuque, Iowa
March 17th, 2020 from 2:00 PM to 6:00 PM

Funeral service

Behr Funeral Home
1491 Main Street, Dubuque, Iowa
March 17th, 2020 at 6:00 PM

2 condolences for Donald H. “Don” Gagne
  1. Douglas Spyrison says:

    Pam, all

    Sorry for your loss. Don was quite a man and guiding force behind the Tri State Blind Society. I appreciate having known Don and Pam and Cathy and everyone during the active Low Vision Clinic years. Kind regards. Doug

  2. Ron Priebe says:


    Sorry for your loss. We will be unable to come to the services. Connie is high risk for the Corona virus so we are limiting our travel and outings. Please give Mark, Jenny and JoJo our best wishes.

    Ron & Connie

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