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Donald Henry Korten

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“I knew this kind and wonderful man as Uncle Don. He taught me how to swim and love the water at Clarklake, Mi. in the early 1960's. He was a...Read More »
1 of 8 | Posted by: Scott Korten - ALBUQUERQUE, NM

“Our sympathies to the Korten family. Don was a true champion of and for swimming. I always enjoyed it when he swam across the lake and would pause to...Read More »
2 of 8 | Posted by: Jeffrey Shouldice - Battle Creek, MI

“My deepest sympathies to the Korten family. Don was a true gentleman and I feel privileged to have known him for the past twenty years. Prayers for...Read More »
3 of 8 | Posted by: Tom Zemrowski - Kalamazoo, MI

“Our deepest sympathies, your dad was such a special person and will be very much missed. Some of my most precious memories at Brown's Lake have your...Read More »
4 of 8 | Posted by: Gail Holton - Wildwood, FL

“There are never words to express the emotion and turmoil. Know that deep in my heart I feel each of you. May God's Grace surround you. May the Angels...Read More »
5 of 8 | Posted by: Belinda Wright - Brandon, FL

“Sorry to hear about your Dad. Its hard to loose a parent. Carla and myself fully understand what you are going through. We are thinking about you and...Read More »
6 of 8 | Posted by: John and Carla Tate - Piedmont, OK

“To the Korten family,Deepest sympathy in the loss of Don. There are many good memories in earlier years of raising our families. The Kortens were...Read More »
7 of 8 | Posted by: Maureen Dyer - Battle Creek, MI

“Gary and Steve Carll extend our condolences to the Korten family with the loss of Donald. Many wonderful memories from BSA at Harper Creek. ”
8 of 8 | Posted by: Gary and Steve Carll - PA

Navy Emblem

Donald H. Korten, 91 of Battle Creek died peacefully at Calhoun County Medical Care Facility on Monday, January 15, 2018.

Donald Korten was born on December 4, 1926, in Jackson, Michigan, to Phyllis (Burton) and George Korten. He married the love of his life, Jacqualine (Fleming), in 1961. Together, they shared and raised seven children: Michael Korten, Kristin (John) Brown, Jean Edgar, Carol Korten (Barry) Zlotogura, Betsy (Mike) Yusko, Kyle Korten, and Curt (Laura) Korten. He is predeceased by his parents and brother, Roger Korten. Don is survived by his wife, children, ten grandchildren, and three great grandchildren.

Don graduated from Jackson High School and then proudly served in the Navy in World War II. He graduated from Michigan State University after his discharge. At MSU, he was an All American in Back Stroke. Don loved all things water related. He taught his own children and many generations in Battle Creek and Jackson to swim. He built his first scuba tank following instructions in Popular Mechanics and dove throughout the United States. He was a competitive swimmer his whole life, swimming the Goguac Lake Swim an astounding 44 year in a row and competing (and winning) races as a Master's Swimmer into his 80's.

Don retired after 25 years of service as the executive director at the Y Center of Battle Creek. He then embarked on a second career as a stock broker with the First of Michigan finally retiring at 65. Never satisfied to sit still, Don was active in Westlake Presbyterian Church, Gift of Life, Lions Club, Binder Park Zoo, Boy Scouts, Life Long Learning Classes, and other civic organizations too numerous to name. He enjoyed being Santa Claus for the Lions Club Christmas Party for more than 25 years. He received numerous awards for his service including the George Award, Michigan Masters Lifetime Achievement Award, the Shining Star Award, and Michigan Eye Bank Shared Vision Award.

Don and Jackie loved to travel. He is proud to have visited all 50 states and six of the seven continents. In their later years, they enjoyed travelling with Elder Hostels, learning about the culture and wildlife of places they visited. They also enjoyed birdwatching as they traveled.

A service to celebrate Don's life will be held at Westlake Presbyterian Church 11:00 a.m. Tuesday, January 23, 2018. Inurnment will be held at Memorial Park Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that a donation be made in Don's honor to the Battle Creek Family Y Center, Gift of Life, or Binder Park Zoo.

Arrangements are by Farley Estes Dowdle Funeral Home & Cremation Care. Personal messages for the family may be placed here at