Obituary: Don Baustian


Don Hugo Baustian, 90, passed away peacefully at his home on May 12, 2020. A private family burial was held at Pine Hill Cemetery. Memorials may be made to Faith Lutheran Church in Eldridge and the Eldridge Fire Department. A gathering for friends and family will be held at a later date.  Chambers Funeral Home assisted the family with arrangements.

Don was born on June 16, 1929, to Viola and Roland Baustian in Argo.  

He married Shirley Joan Kreiter on Sept. 4, 1950, at St. Paul Lutheran Church in Davenport. They had three children: Roger, Dana, and Gina. 

Don was a proud farmer. Even in his later years you would find him out in the fields watching his sons combine during harvest season “just to keep an eye on things.” In the late 70s he won Scott County highest corn yield. His passion for farming was unparalleled. He grew corn, soybeans, and in early farming years he milked and raised cattle and hogs. The family farm was recognized as a Century Farm in 1979. Don was also a proud Scott County citizen. He was honored to serve on the Eldridge Coop Board, Faith Lutheran Church council, Eldridge Fire Department trustee, Pine Hill Cemetery board, and was a 4-H leader for Lincoln Leaders. 

Don graduated from Davenport High in 1948. He married Shirley Kreiter in 1950. They had been sweethearts since eighth grade. Together they raised a beautiful family of three children, nine grandchildren, and 17 great-grandchildren. Don and Shirley loved horseback riding together. They took many memorable trips around the country with their “On the Road Again” friends. Don enjoyed stopping in at House Feed & Seed to talk with the other farmers.  He especially liked driving the RV for his daughter’s family on RAGBRAI for several years. All the grandkids would agree that one of his favorite activities was taking groups of his grandchildren on annual summer “mini-vacations” around small town Iowa, Illinois, and Wisconsin.

Don talked to anyone and everyone, and somehow made friends with them all. Don loved telling stories, and he had many to share. One of his favorite stories was when he was just 12 years old he saw a gopher outside in the schoolyard. He got permission from his teacher to go home, grab his rifle, and shoot it from the classroom window. He told of the night sleeping in 25 below zero temperatures in an old farmhouse where the kettle froze solid by morning. He once dipped the pigtails of the girl he sat behind in school into his inkwell and got punished with a yardstick on his knuckles. There was always a group of chairs on the lawn at the farm waiting for friends and neighbors to stop by and hear those stories or talk about the weather, crops, or corn prices.

Don’s family would like to thank Shana from Home Instead for her years of extra care and friendship, and to Jersey Ridge Place, for giving Don and Shirley such a wonderful home away from home. Also to all their friends for continuous support. 

Don is survived by his wife, Shirley, and children Roger (Sheila) Baustian, Dana (Teressa) Baustian, Gina (Brian) Bettini, and sister, Phyllis Holst.  Don also leaves nine grandchildren, 17 great-grandchildren, and dear friends Bud and Dottie House.

Online condolences may be made to Don’s family by visiting his obituary at


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