Nobody quite knows how long Donald Noon, or Brother Donald, has worked for the Westside Center Thrift Store.
“He helped out here for over 20 years,” said Theresa Zeug who runs the operation.
Martha Quesenberry, Donald’s legal guardian, said that Donald was working there in 1995 when he came to live with her.
“I like helping out with the ladies,” said Donald.
“That’s what he’s always called it,” explained Quesenberry.
“He was a real asset around here and a working man,” said Zeug.
“I’m a working man,” he agreed.
When Donald worked at the thrift center he often helped by carrying boxes of items inside from those making deliveries and also carrying out purchases.
Donald also mentioned that he enjoyed vacuuming the stairs.
“Every person knew him at Westside Thrift Store,” said Zeug. “He loved to visit…and he had a great memory. If you told him something once, he’d remember it forever.”
He said his favorite memories are of the 10 o’clock coffee breaks and the times when Theresa brought bars.
Donald is also a long time Minnesota sports fan, and they celebrated his retirement with a coffee and sports- themed party.
Quesenberry pointed out working also provided him opportunities to find many hats.
“Almost a new hat every month,” she said.
Donald has a special affinity for hats.
Donald joined the Quesenberry family many years ago when Martha’s mother took him in as a foster child at age 11. With a few periods as exceptions, he has been with the family pretty much ever since.
The family has mostly been in the general area; Donald, who is 56, graduated from Wabasso. During his time helping the ladies he was able to find many great gifts for his nieces and nephews – all 29 of them from his three brothers and six sisters.
“He really is part of the family,” Quesenberry said. “He comes to all of the family reunions and events.”
Since retiring from Westside he has found a few other jobs to keep him busy. He enjoys working at SEI packing coffee and popcorn, although he’d really love to work for the sheriff’s station, he said.
He also calls himself “the pail-man,” a title he earned last summer helping his nephew pick grapes at his vineyard near Mankato. He enjoyed helping with the harvest.
Donald also fills his time attending local sports events and fine arts programs. He has a special affinity for trombones and the jazz band.
“I am a happy man,” said Donald.