Donald R. Teff, age 81 of Cold Spring, NY and formerly of Foley, MN, died on September 17, 2023, at his home due to an accidental fall. He was born August 27, 1942, in St. Cloud, MN to Joseph and Clara (Dorr) Teff. Don graduated from Foley High School in 1960 and went on to earn higher education degrees from St. Cloud State University, and The New School in New York City. He lived most of his life in New York state, working in New York City in finance and banking with Chase Manhattan Bank for many years. He later began a career as a consultant in human resources, coaching individuals for many company clients. He was a gifted public speaker and spoke at many career conferences. He was also an accomplished writer on all things career-related and was a published author. Having been in New York City on 9/11/2001, he wrote an extensive first-person account of the tragedy for his hometown newspaper. In his retirement, he volunteered at Graymoor Shelter, writing resumes, and giving career counseling to help the residents gain employment and fulfill their greatest potential.
He met Joe Pacheco in April 1975, and created a genuine partnership that lasted more than 37 years. In their later years they had a thriving antique business. They shared a love of pets, devoted to their dogs Hoot Gibson and Jesse James. Don was a talented cook and loved to entertain his friends with elaborate dinner parties and gourmet cuisine. Don traveled the world and shared many stories with his family and friends of his adventures. He was a charismatic and generous man, highly intellectual yet able to have a beer at a local bar with anyone. His sense of humor was legendary, as well as his passion for causes he cared deeply about. Don was a man of great faith, very active in his place of worship, Our Lady of Loretto Roman Catholic Church in Cold Spring. A life-long student of human nature, he had a large collection of books and many collectible items that he often gave as gifts to others.
Cecil Wade, a close friend and author of the Benton County News column “Impulse for Here”, referred to Don in a feature dated 8/24/2010, saying, “Don may well be the most profound (if not the original) ‘people person’”, highlighting his ability to find the good in everyone he met. He will be greatly missed by all who knew him.
Don is survived by his brothers and sisters, Carol Gapinski, Foley, MN; Jerome (Lois), Foley, MN; Harold (Ione), Monument, CO; Joni (Tim) Costello, Clear Lake, MN; Bonnie (Tom) Stachowski, St. Cloud, MN; Larry (Shelly), Sartell, MN; Brenda (Harvey) Fussy, Becker, MN; many nieces and nephews, and many dear friends and colleagues in New York state.
He was preceded in death by his husband Joe Pacheco, mother Clara, father Joseph, sister Marilyn, brother-in-law Al Gapinski, niece Heather Stachowski, and nephew Darrell Gapinski.
Friends may call on Tuesday September 26, 2023 from 6-8pm at Clinton Funeral Home, 21 Parrott Street, Cold Spring. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Wednesday September 27, 2023 at 11:00am at Our Lady of Loretto Church, 24 Fair Street, Cold Spring. Interment will be the family plot in Minnesota.