Don Hento

Don Hento, age 74, of Yankton, South Dakota, died peacefully on Sunday, November 6, 2022 at his home.

A celebration of his life will be at 7:00 PM, on Wednesday, November 9, 2022 at the Wintz & Ray Funeral Home in Yankton.  The family will receive friends from 5:00 to 7:00 PM, on Wednesday at the funeral home.

Don was born December 19, 1947 in Avon, South Dakota to Klas and Anne (Olsen) Hento.  He graduated from Avon High School in 1966.  Don attended Southern State College in Springfield, SD where he graduated with an Associate’s Degree in Automotive Technology and then a Bachelor’s Degree in Vocational Education.  On June 26, 1970, Don married LeAnn Cihak in Avon.  After their marriage, they lived in Tyndall, SD for a year while Don was a student teacher in Mitchell, SD.  In 1971, they moved to Gregory, SD and Don started the Automotive Program at Gregory High School.  Four years later in 1975, they moved to Yankton.  Don taught at Yankton High School where he also began the Automotive Program.  During the summers, Don would work as a mechanic at the local Chevrolet dealer to stay current with the new technology.  In 1985, he received his Master’s Degree in Vocational Technical Teacher Education from the University of South Dakota in Vermillion.  After retiring from teaching in 2003, Don then worked in the sporting department at Walmart for the next 11 years.  Don loved hunting, fishing and being outdoors.  He was a member of the Izaak Walton League in Yankton and loved shooting trap and skeet with his son and grandsons.  Don was also a member of Pheasants Forever and Ducks Unlimited.  He loved the company of his black lab, Maggie, But most of all, he treasured his family and the time he was able to spend with them.

Don is survived by his wife, LeAnn Hento of Yankton; three children: Darren (Charity) Hento of Yankton, Heather Hento of Bakersfield, CA, and Amber (Jeremy) Gross of White Bear Lake, MN; son-in-law, Tracey Hill of Spanaway, WA; five grandchildren: Luke and Bradley Hento, Savanah and Jaxon Hill, and Nathan Gross; one sister, Elaine (Larry) Jacobs of Portland, OR; and several nieces and nephews.

Don was preceded in death by his parents; two daughters, Kim Hill and Kara Hento; and one brother, John Hento.


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11 response to "Don Hento"

  1. By: Todd becker Posted: November 7, 2022

    To the Hento family our condolences and prayers are with you. I always enjoyed shooting skeet with Don.

  2. By: Jo Ann Lambertz Posted: November 7, 2022

    I am deeply saddened to hear of Don’s death. I worked with him for many years at Walmart and always appreciated him for his kindness, humor, and helpfulness to everyone. My deepest sympathies on your loss.

  3. By: Duane Vander veen Posted: November 8, 2022

    My condolences to the Hento family. Don and I were prehigh school friends having a lot of fun together plus a few fishing excursions.

  4. By: Joseph J Carda Posted: November 8, 2022

    My prayers and condolences. I will always look back to the times of hunting doves with Don and Glen. Now they are both laughing together on those great times.

  5. By: Matt Gunderson Posted: November 8, 2022

    I always enjoyed visiting with Mr. Hento during Automotive class and when we would run I teach other. My condolences and sympathies to the family. Great man.

  6. By: Daniel Fields Posted: November 8, 2022

    My condolences to the family. Mr. Hento was an excellent teacher. I remember his automotives class like it was yesterday, and still use what he taught me to this day.

  7. By: Terry Pudwill Posted: November 9, 2022

    My condolences to LeAnn and family. Over the years, Don and I walked many a mile together hunting pheasant and anything else that was in season. Those times will always be remembered!

  8. By: Brenda Posted: November 9, 2022

    Prayers going your way I loved working with Don at Walmart in sporting goods

  9. By: Larry & Elaine (Hento) Jacobs Posted: November 9, 2022

    Condolences to you and your family. Very nice photo tribute showing his loves (family, hunting and fishing, his dogs). Sitting here thinking about times growing up on the farm. I remember getting a tour of his classroom in Yankton and how proud he was of it and his students. Liked visiting when we had a chance during some of the trips back to SD. Stories of his dogs were always great.

  10. By: Craig Johnson Posted: November 10, 2022

    Don and I are the same age, so it’s hard to believe he is gone. I always enjoyed talking with him, when he was a teacher, and later at Walmart. He was so full of life and always happy. Don was so proud of his family. Thinking of LeAnn, knowing her children will be a great comfort to her, now, I had Darren, Heather and Amber, as students, at Beadle School, and it was always a pleasure to have them in class. You are all in my thoughts and prayers…………

  11. By: Cindy Hendrickson Posted: November 10, 2022

    Thinking of all of you during this time! My husband, Guy, considered Don one of his dearest friends. I’m sure they are thrilled to be enjoying each other’s company once again. May God give you comfort during this difficult time.

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