Welcome to the memorial page for

Donald Paul Nau

January 3, 1946 ~ April 3, 2017 (age 71)

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Funeral Service
April 10, 2017

10:00 AM
St. John's Lutheran Church
405 S. Albany
Yuma, CO 80759

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Donald Paul Nau was born on January 3, 1946 to John and Erna Bock Nau in Yuma, Colorado and was the youngest of three children.  He was baptized January 20, 1960 at St. John’s Lutheran Church of Yuma, where he would be a lifetime member and supporter of Lutheran Hour.  Don entered into rest on April 3, 2017 at Hilllcrest Towers in Wray, Colorado.

Don was raised on his family’s farm north of Yuma, helping his father to raise dryland crops.  He attended the Lutheran Christian Day School until its close in 1958 (6th grade). He completed his education in Yuma, graduating from YHS in 1964.  Following graduation, Don joined the National Guard where he was noted for “excelling with firearms”.  While in the Guard, he farmed in partnership with his older brother, Kennard Nau.  After serving for six years in Colorado and Fort Bragg, North Carolina, Don was honorably discharged in 1971 receiving a rank of Sergeant E5 Artillery.

Not long after, Don met Marvena Thomas Kyle while picking up an order at the Montgomery Wards Store.  They married on February 9, 1972, and Don adopted Marvena’s two daughters, Jacquette (Jacque) Lynne and Michelle Lee, instantly loving and caring for them as his own.  Don and Marvena would complete their family in 1973 with the arrival of their daughter Jennifer (Jenny) Kay.  Raising three daughters would prove the greatest adventure of his life, as all three had vastly different personalities.  Jacque was free spirited, willing to take on the world; Michelle offering a delicate appreciation for others’ feelings; and Jenny aspiring to be exactly like her dad, the full embodiment of a tomboy.  Despite their differences, their dad loved them fiercely and instilled in them his faith, integrity, and work ethic.

Don acquired a small piece of his family’s land in the late 70’s and began building his own farmstead north of Yuma.  He had spent years raising wheat from its winter dormancy to its golden berries of harvest, and no doubt loved it.  However, Don always sought to challenge himself and master the land.  He took a leap of faith and plunged into the challenges of irrigation.  After avid research and with the guidance of his mentor, Earl Rehor, irrigated crops became his primary farming practice.  Throughout his career, he would continue to seek out and take advantage of new farming technology and products.  Don retired from farming in 2013.

Don didn’t limit his determination to excel to only farming.  In the free time he allowed himself, Don mastered skills in trapshooting, flying airplanes, and fishing.  While he was familiar with using shotguns in the hunting community, he would become quite the sharpshooter as he began a short but successful career in trapshooting.  Don attended many tournaments in Colorado, Nebraska, Kansas and Arizona, winning a handicap challenge against the #1 shooter in the world, Ray Stafford of Thornton, Colorado, and winning a local contest in 1973, for which he was featured in the Yuma Pioneer.  This hobby would take a back seat to his advancing farming career in the late 70’s.  His first lessons in flying were in a Champion Citabria in January 1968, under the direction of lifelong friend Bernard Wall.  He obtained and held a private pilot license since February 1969 and continued flying for pleasure over the country into the early 2000s.  He had a unique opportunity to pilot several planes made available to him by Bernard:  150, 172, 182, and 185 Cessna, Piper Pawnee and Brave, Stenson and Super Cub.  Fishing was, by far, his favorite, and his policy was always “catch and release”.  While the sport took him to Alaska and Belize, he preferred to fish in the rivers of Colorado and lakes of western Nebraska.

Don was preceded in death by parents John and Erna Nau and daughter Jacquette Lynne Nau. 

He is survived by his wife, Marvena Nau, daughters Michelle Nau and Jenny (Richard) Noble, granddaughters Jessica Noble (Lee) Gojara, Mallory Noble, and Vanessa Stolz (daughter of Michelle Nau), great granddaughter Briley Gojara, sister June (John) Andrews and brother Kennard (Jan) Nau, and brother-in-law, David (Susan) Thomas;  nieces and nephews:  Steve and Barbara Andrews (Kelby and Ariel), Bill Andrews, Jim and Angie Andrews (Lucas and Layne), Bob Andrews, Shad and Alise Nau (Brittney and Bryan), Lisa and DV Allen, Clint and Nancy Nau (Natalie and Clyde), Tom and Casey Nau (Hailey and Maisy), Jason and Katie Nau, Tracy (Thomas) and Matt Hardesty, Matt and Amy Thomas (Mia and Toren), Joel and Marissa Thomas, Amanda (Thomas) and Chad Rayl (Camden), cousins, and friends.

Don will be remembered for his love of the land, competitive spirit, unrelenting faith, and, because he only ever had daughters and granddaughters, for truly being a ladies’ man.


Charitable donations may be made to:

St. Johns Lutheran Memorial Fund
PO Box 436, Yuma CO 80759

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