RINGNALDA - Donald J. Professor Emeritus, age 62, an internationally renowned scholar of Vietnam War literature and a longtime Professor of English at the University of St. Thomas, died of cancer Wednesday, June 27, in St. Paul, MN. Don was born and raised in Byron Center where he spent the first 22 years of his life loving nature, school, and music. Don was an avid fisherman, lover of dogs (all animals) and jazz music. He was an accomplished pianist and cabinet maker. Don learned his cabinet making skills from his brother-in-law and mentor, Justin Zylstra who preceded him in death July 4, 2006. Though a Michigan native, Ringnalda spent, for all practical purposes, his entire teaching career at St. Thomas University in St. Paul, Minnesota. He joined the faculty as an adjunct instructor shortly after earning his Ph.D. in comparative literature from Ohio University in 1975. He became an Assistant Professor in 1983 and ultimately was named "Professor Emeritus" in May of this year. Don is survived by his wife of 40 years, Jonelle, as well as his father, John Ringnalda. He was preceded in death by his mother, Lavina (Molewyk). Don will be most sorely missed by his best friend and younger brother, Dave and the family: sister, MaryJane Zylstra; brothers and sisters-in-law, Dave and Jody Ringnalda, Garry and Pat Ringnalda; nieces and nephews, Doug and Debbie Zylstra, Jim and Debra Zylstra, Sue Mervau, Eric Ringnalda, Marcus and Emily Ringnalda, Adam Ringnalda, Robin and Andy Zylstra, Amanda and Barry Cook, David Ringnalda and Brandon Ringnalda; many cousins, colleagues and friends. A Memorial Service celebrating Don's life will be held on August 5 at 2:00 p.m. in the St. Thomas Frey-O'Shaughnessy Library, 2115 Summit Ave., St. Paul, MN. The Memorial Service will be followed by an evening of Jazz Music tribute to Don at The Artists' Quarter, 408 St. Peter Street at 5:00 p.m.