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Donald Kvam 10/15/2023

Donald Clarence Kvam, PhD (1932-2023)

Dr. Donald Clarence Kvam of New Richmond, WI died peacefully on October 15, just short of his 91st birthday.

Dr. Donald Kvam was a retired senior research and managerial leader within the Life Sciences division of 3M Company.

While at 3M, he was involved in the development of scientific advances that produced 10 international patents and 14 US patents.

His scientific skill and process innovation led to Donald being inducted into 3M’s Carlton Society, the highest recognition of lifetime achievement for 3M scientists and engineers, for his leadership and technology development in the field of biological evaluation and pharmacology; his perseverance in thorough scientific discipline and evaluation; his breadth and depth of knowledge in the science of human testing of pharmaceuticals and his total dedication to defining, finding, and exploring major advances in pharmaceutical therapeutics.

In addition to his work at 3M, Donald was active as a teacher and guest lecturer at major universities and conferences around the world and the co-author of multiple articles published in leading scientific journals.

Born on October 20, 1932 to Clarence Kvam and Lila Walker in Escanaba, MI, Donald earned his B.S. and M.S. in Pharmacy from Ferris State University and a PhD in Pharmacology from the University of Wisconsin at Madison.

While a student at Ferris, he met his devoted and loving wife of 69 years, Suzanne, on a blind date.  After raising their children in the Twin Cities, they moved to Wisconsin for its small town charm, living in New Richmond for the last 12 years.

In addition to his professional pursuits, Donald loved rooting for the Wisconsin Badgers, spending time with his family, music (especially big band jazz), golf, traveling, canoeing, family pets and working around the house.

In addition to Suzanne, Donald is survived by his children, Donald (Maureen) Kvam, Jr., Mark Kvam, Amy (Roger) Werner; his sister Lila Ann (Alan) Leibee; his grandchildren, Kristin (Kris), David (Anna), Eric, Courtney (Joe), Lauren (True), Jordan, Jack, Bryn, Taylre, his niece, Karen (Brent) Yost and many Great-Grandchildren and friends.

A visitation was held on Saturday, November 11, 2023, at Bakken-Young Funeral & Cremation Services (728 S Knowles Ave) New Richmond, Wisconsin from 1:00PM-3:00PM.  Interment will be at a later date in New Richmond Cemetery.

The family asks that in lieu of flowers, donations be sent to the Alzheimer’s Association or a favorite charity of your choice.

Arrangements are with Bakken-Young Funeral & Cremation Services.


  • Bill and Betty Komula Posted October 18, 2023 10:25 am

    Our thoughts and prayers are with you.

  • Kim Anderson Posted October 18, 2023 11:56 am

    Sue, Mom just notified me of Don’s passing. My heart is heavy and my prayers are with you and the family. My Memories of Don from when I was a child was he was a great father, husband, kind and gentle man. My memories of Don as an adult were a brilliant man, humble, proud of his family more than his own accomplishments, great listener/communicator, and polished professional. He certainly left an impression on me. What a tremendous loss this is. Kim

  • Kay Brooks Posted October 20, 2023 2:45 pm

    I’m so sad to hear this, Sue. I didn’t know Don, but know you have had quite a journey these past few years. Loss of a spouse you have spent a lifetime with must be incredibly sad. My heart is with you and your family!

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