Donald Johannes Hautala

NEWBERRY — Donald Johannes Hautala, 83, of Newberry, passed away Sunday morning, April 11, 2021, at the Gordon Family Home.

Born on December 21, 1937, in Newberry, son of the late Eero and Jennie (Pohja) Hautala, Don was a 1956 graduate of Newberry High School, a 1958 graduate of Suomi College and a 1960 graduate of Gustavus Adolphus College with a bachelor’s degree in business administration specializing in accounting.

After graduation, Don was offered a mathematics instructor position at Suomi College. He was also the resident director of the men’s dormitory house and faculty assistant basketball coach. A student of his was his future wife, the former Jo Ann Leppanen of Iron River.

After deciding the education field was not for him, but government service, Don resigned and enlisted in the United States Army in 1961. Following basic training and graduating with honors from specialist school, he was assigned to the Automatic Data Processing Attachment, Assistant Chief of Staff Intelligence at the Pentagon. As a Private E-2 he was slotted in a Staff Sergeant E-7 position as the Chief, Data Conversion Section and in charge of the data development of the new large-scale computer system. In 1962 the office was transferred to the Defense Intelligence Agency and upon his discharge in March of 1964, Don was awarded the Army Commendation Medal for his meritorious service and achievement in the system development.

Following his honorable discharge, Don accepted a civilian position as a Supervisory Computer Specialist in the same office. Over the next 14 years he was the Supervisory Data Base Manager in charge in support of all the automated data bases of the United States Military Commands, military agencies and internal agency management data bases. Don was responsible for the receipt of all requests for ADP support, processing delegation to action offices and was a task force member selecting and developing a desk top computer system for the Agency as online file maintenance was established. In 1980, Don was reassigned to the DIA ADP Program and Budget office and quickly progressed to become the Chief Program Budget Manager for all ADP requirements and support. In all of his positions, he had interface meetings or briefings with senior officials up to assistant directors of the agency retiring on his birthday in 1992 after nearly 32 years of service.

Don and Jo Ann moved to Newberry in March of 1993, where he was a member of Our Redeemer Lutheran Church serving on the finance committee, writer of the church newsletter for 26 years and a Sunday school leader for three years. Don and Jo Ann also provided needed assistance to relatives and friends in the community.

Don was active in athletics while in the Washington D.C. area. He was an army company basketball coach for two years leading the team to a Fort Myer, Virginia, championship in 1963 with an overall record of 35-5. He also enjoyed attending basketball games as a two-seat season ticket holder at George Washington University for 30 years.

While a civilian, he captained his duck pin bowling team in the agency’s league. He was also a coach for his sons little league baseball teams and when his sons were in college he joined them as the first baseman and pitcher on their Fairfax County, Virginia, church league softball team. In 2017, the Newberry High School girls’ basketball team elected him the fan of the year. In 1965, he was inducted in the book Outstanding Young Men of American and, in the mid 1960’s, he established the E.J. and J.S. Hautala scholarship at Suomi College in his parent’s honor.

Don is survived by his loving wife, Jo Ann, of Newberry; sons, Donald (Linda) of Taylor, Michigan, Jon (Tamara) of Shakopee, Minnesota; and daughter, Kay Bondy of Lansing; sisters, Anna Miller of Newberry; step-grandson, Demian Allgeyer of Taylor; nephews, James and Richard Miller; and nieces, Gayle and Patricia Miller, all of Newberry.

Due to the COVID-19 restrictions, a private family gathering will take place at the Beaulieu Funeral Home.

A memorial service will take place at a later date at Our Redeemer Lutheran Church with Pastor Melinda VanderSys officiating. Interment will take place at Forest Home Cemetery.

Memorials may be directed to Our Redeemer Lutheran Church or Finlandia University in his loving memory.

Condolences may be expressed at beaulieufuneralhome.com.

Beaulieu Funeral Home in Newberry is assisting the family.