Autobiographical notes
on the lives of
Don and Dorette “Dur” Kleinkauf
A Winning Combination

Chapter 3

Searching for the Gold in the Golden Years

Dorette speaks of her late-life challenges:

With the children living independent lives, I began to dream of how Don and I could invest our incomes in our house and other quality of life issues. That plan came to an abrupt halt in June 1977 when I could no longer go to the office because of extreme fatigue and pain. Upon examination at the University of Nebraska, Omaha, it was determined that I had Post Polio Syndrome, which has become more painful and more debilitating with each passing year. Don than became our sole provider and did a wonderful job in the process.

I now get around in a battery powered “Scooter,” while outside, and with a cane when inside as I help myself along the walls, railings and furniture. Looking back, I take pleasure in remembering that I had 22 years of meaningful and satisfying employment with the Union Pacific Railroad.

In the past six years my valiant Don has struggled with Squamous Cell Cancer in his throat that has now migrated to both lungs, along with colon cancer surgery which resulted in removal of the Sigmoid area of his lower intestine.

So, after being grateful to our Creator for a wonderful life, we are selling our winter park home here at Superstition Sunrise RV Resort, and our home in North Platte, while transitioning to a new chapter of life in a retirement complex in Lincoln. Our new home will be near our daughter, Loree, and all of our meals will be prepared for us. Don is continuing his chemotherapy and our prayer for each day is for whatever healing and mobility we can both enjoy in order to continue to be there for each other and make the most of each day.

Dorette speaks of Don:

After 39 years of service, at age 60, Don retired on April 13, 1990. He and Dorette continued traveling and eventually they became “snowbirds” spending winters in eastern Maricopa County, Arizona, and summering in their home town of North Platte, Nebraska.

In 1996 Don was diagnosed with cancer on the right vocal chord which recurred two times ending in a complete larenjectomy. Since then, the cancer has traveled through his blood stream to the lower branches of both lungs. Currently he is on long-term chemotherapy. He has also recuperated from colon cancer surgery.

Don feels very fortunate to have had a very happy life, and loved and educated two great kids. He’s never really had any other interests besides providing well for his family. He has always been a “Big Red” football fan. He is a devout Christian (Lutheran) and leaves his future up to the Lord.

Don and Dur, April 10, 1981,
celebrating son, Chip’s wedding

Editor’s Closing Notes:

To Don and Dorette: Thank you for sharing this commentary and
the images relating to your individual and joined family histories.
It would seem that our Creator had a plan to bring you two together
long before you learned of it. You have lived, and continue to
live, exemplary lives. Know that you remain in our prayers in the
days to come as you enter this next chapter of your later lives together.

If any of our web site visitors would like to learn more about
Post Polio Syndrome,
you may click here to access
Atch. # 1, re a Postpolio Syndrome Study.

End of Chapter 3, End of this story

you may go to

Cover Page Editor’s Introduction Table of Contents

Chapter 1, Part I Chapter 1, Part II

Chapter 2, Part I Chapter 2 Part II

Chapter 3Atch. # 1

Other Biographical Notes Listings