Donald James Ibsen, Sr

donald ibsen, sr
Donald James Ibsen, Sr. of Northford, husband of Ruth Hanks Ibsen, passed away in New Haven on November 2, 2010. Born in New Haven on February 11, 1935 a son of the late John and Jennie Hansen Ibsen. Besides his wife, Donald is survived by his children, Marcia Russo and her husband Michael of Avon, Diane Covel and her husband Sean of Northford, and Donald J. Ibsen, Jr of West Haven; siblings, Elizabeth Thompson of Hamden, Lorraine Hayden of Massachusetts, John Ibsen of Hamden and Clifford Ibsen of Alabama; grandchildren, Brandon Russo of Florida, Tara Bugbee of Middletown, Christopher Burzynski of Boston, Lauren Burzynski of Avon, and Stefan Burzynski of Middletown, and Ian and Erik Covel both of Northford; great-granddaughter, Myah Russo of Florida. Predeceased by a sister Doris Bates. Don graduated from Hamden High School in '52, from Yale University with a Bachelors Degree in '56, and with an MBA from the University of Bridgeport in '72. Don was an industrial engineer starting with U.S. Steel in 1956, moving to Dresser Industries, Inc. in 1962. He was President of the Instrument Division of Dresser Industries from 1983 to his retirement in 1991. Don joined the University of New Haven as Vice President of Development and also worked with St. Raphael's Foundation in development. A lifetime member of Trinity Evangelical Free Church of Woodbridge, he served in many leadership positions. His community leadership affiliations included, the United Way of Eastern Fairfield County, The United Way of New Haven, The Klingberg Family Center, The YMCA, Junior Achievement, Goodwill Industries, Southern CT Manufacturers Association and the CT Business and Industry Assoc. An avid gardener and golfer, he was also a member of the New Haven Country Club. More than anything, Don cherished time spent with his family. Friends may visit with the family at BEECHER & BENNETT, 2300 WHITNEY AVE., HAMDEN, on Friday, November 12th from 4 to 8 P.M. Burial will be private. A Memorial Service will be held at Trinity Evangelical Free Church, 33 Center Rd., Woodbridge on Saturday, November 13th at 11 A.M. Contributions in Donald's memory may be sent to Trinity Evangelical Free Church, 33 Center Rd., Woodbridge, CT 06525.

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Memories Timeline


  1. Don was a special cousin to me – very close through the years. I loved him like a brother and will miss him so much.

  2. Our daughters, Peter, and I all have fond memories of Don. Don was a leader at Trinity Evangelical Free Church and thoughout the community at large. Don was a tall man with a large vision and a heart to match.Don possessed the greatest tools for effective living, by holding a real appreciation for God’s wisdom and truth.

  3. We have so many fond memories of you and Ruth and will miss you terribly. You had a great impact on so many lives and were always so interested in helping others.

  4. I was Don’s assistant at the university of new haven for five years. we had a very good working relationship. He was a kind, fair man in all aspects of life. I send his entire family my deepest sympathies and strength of spirit to all of you during this trying time.

  5. Don, Ruth, Marcia, DJ and Diane through the years became as close as family. Living near one another and sharing our lives for so many years, we created such strong bonds. Worshipping and working together in the church, vacationing together, praying for one another, loving one another’s children, knowing one another’s extended family was truly a relationship ordained by God. Don to us is a brother in Christ, friend, example, counselor, advocate, story-teller, big tease, and lover of life. Released and delivered, he is in the fullness of joy.

  6. Ruth, so sorry to read about Don. Our deepest sympathy to you. I always enjoyed see him at NHCC. My prayers are for you. Sis

  7. Dear Marcia… I am very sorry to hear of the passing of your dad. I send my condolences to you and your family and I’m sorry I couldn’t make it to the services to pay my respects in person. I would have loved to see you again. I pray for you and your family and think of you often. God Bless.

  8. Dear Ibsen family, Barbro and I share our deepest sympathies with you for this loss. Don was incredibly bright, witty and a great source of comfort throughout my whole life. He was also a lifelong friend of my mother Barbro and one of the rare few that has called to share his concern and friendship with her in her own illness. I have so many fond memories of great times at the house on Skiff street…getting into a little trouble with Ed Maas, Paul Coyle and DJ but all in good fun. Ruth was always so kind and welcoming and Marsha and Diane were so sweet and beautiful, always. We were all blessed by knowing Don and thankful to have memories to cherish forever.

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