Donald Nugent, age 76, of Frankfort, died peacefully surrounded by his family on March 5, 2018.
He is survived by his wife of 54 years, Gail; children, Steve (Kerry) Nugent and Amy (Robert) Smale; six grandchildren, Daniel, Joseph (Amber), Matthew, Maisie Nugent, Poom Hang and Matthew (Jenn) Smale; and two great-grandsons, Jackson and Benjamin Smale. Also surviving are his brothers, Neil and Phillip Nugent; his sister, Judy Riggins; as well as many beloved nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his loving parents, Chester and Maisie Nugent.
Don was devoted to his family and his faith in the Lord, being married at Blaine Christian Church and later worshiped at the Frankfort Congregational Church.
Don enjoyed a long and successful career in agriculture that started at Michigan State University as a student. He later traveled around the world studying agricultural practices with the Kellogg Foundation, farmed in Benzie County and founded and created Graceland Fruit, which revolutionized the cherry business by creating the dried cherry.
Later in life Don proudly served on the board of directors at MSU, sharing his vast knowledge and experience for 16 years.
His most important accomplishments and joys are his marriage, his two children, their spouses and his grandchildren.
Don was a man who devoted his life to serving the community he loved. He was a long-serving Rotarian and the recipient of the distinguished Paul Harris Award. Don served on many local, state and national committees as well, dealing with business and agriculture.
In his rare free time Don enjoyed winters golfing in St. Kitts, summers on his farms working the harvest with his grandchildren and in the spring and fall, watching the Spartans and his grandsons play football.
A private service for family and close friends will be held this summer when all can be together to celebrate his remarkable life.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions are suggested to the Frankfort Congregational Church or the Benzie County MSU Alumni Association for the Donald Nugent Scholarship Fund.
Arrangements are by O'Brien-Eggebeen-Gerst Funeral Home; (616) 949-7350.
Published on March 8, 2018