Donald Dale Hyyppa, 82
February 1, 2023
Donald Dale Hyyppa passed away in the early morning hours of January 20, 2023, in Miles City, Montana.
Don was born December 12, 1940, at 12:30 PM in Whitehall, Montana, to Barbara (Kjelstrup) Hyyppa and Kalervo Hyyppa, the eldest of three children. He spent all of his childhood in Whitehall and graduated from Whitehall High in 1959.
In 1958, Don started working at the Lewis and Clark Caverns for the summer. Many of his coworkers there became great friends for life. Following high school, he attended the Montana School of Mines, now Montana Tech, in Butte. After a short time in college, he left to pursue full-time work at the Lewis and Clark Caverns.
Don married Judy Hansen in 1963. They had four children: Douglas, Craig, Lisa, and Michael. While in Helena, he built a house on Maple Street where he and Judy raised their four children. Don and Judy divorced in 1987.
In 1966, Don was promoted to work with the State Parks Division in Helena. He ultimately became the Administrator of Parks for Montana. In 1992, he was transferred to Miles City, Montana, and promoted to Region 7, Supervisor of Fish Wildlife and Parks. He retired in 2003 which concluded 45 years of service to the State of Montana.
The Historic Olive Hotel in Miles City was Don's home for 30 years until his passing. He liked jazz, sporty cars, and his frequent trips to Helena, Bozeman, Missoula, California, Colorado, and Arizona to visit family. He also sang with the Soundproofers Union, a barbershop quartet, in Helena. His most recent trip was attending the San Diego Jazz Fest with family and his childhood friend from Whitehall, Judy Cowdrey.
Preceding Don in death is his parents and oldest son Shawn Schai. Don is survived by his children Douglas (Alessandra) of Venice, California; Craig of Helena; Lisa of Bellingham, Washington; Michael of Helena; brothers Ray (Patty) of Florence, Arizona; Jack (Linda) of Bozeman; and eight grandchildren.
Don's family would like to thank the staff at Holy Rosary Hospital for the exceptional and compassionate care they provided.
A gathering of friends and family later this summer will be announced.