Don Kinsel Ries

August 15, 1953March 14, 2021

On March 14, 2021, Don departed this world and soared to his next adventure. He was home, surrounded by his loving family, after a long battle with Alzheimer’s Dementia.

Don was born on August 15, 1953 to Dr. Stanley K Ries (deceased) and Mary I. Ries of Traverse City, MI. Don lives on through his wife, Karen, who he married on August 13, 1983, and children, Jessica and Adam, of Portland, OR. Don is also survived by sister Dr. Carol Byerly of Boulder, CO, and sister and brother-in-law Kathy and John Brandenburg of Maple City, MI, as well as Uncle Tom Mills of Williamsburg, VA, and numerous cousins, nieces and nephews across the nation.

Don graduated with a Bachelor's degree in Agricultural Engineering from Michigan State University and received a Master’s degree in Agricultural Engineering from Texas A&M. He was a brilliant man, husband, father, son, brother, uncle, and friend. He took on the ventures in his life with vigor and determination, and loved sharing his knowledge and helping others succeed. His unique perspective made him look at situations through a different lens than many of us. Instead of hunting, he shot with his camera as he immediately saw beauty before most, especially in nature. Before retiring from Michigan State University, his career carried him to a variety of states and countries throughout his life, including England where he worked for Lotus Cars. Don’s passion for music was contagious, blasting his stereo every chance he had. He enthusiastically passed this love on to his children.

A celebration of life will be held at a later date. Memorial contributions may be sent to: The Alzheimer’s Association ( or Hospice of Lansing, MI.


No public services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.


Don Kinsel Ries

have a memory or condolence to add?

Margie Myler-Cath

March 25, 2021

Hi. I wanted to extend my sympathies to your entire family. I did not know Don, yet I also lost a family member to Alzheimer's and I appreciate you acknowledging his battle.
I am fortunate enough to know Kathy and John Brandenburg, and Jo Pearce, and would like to say how sorry I am for your family's loss.
My thoughts and prayers are being sent to help ease your pain.
Love, Margie xoxo

Laurena Jenkins Hoffmeyer

March 22, 2021

I'm so saddened to learn of Don's passing. I shared a house on Milford Street in East Lansing my senior year in college along with Jim & Renee, Doug, Jasmine, Gail and Evi. Don always brought a different perspective to any situation. Although I've kept in contact with a couple of these people, I had no idea that Don was still at the University. I retired from MSU after 32 years of service in 2007 so we must have been there at the same time. I remember Don with his long hair and gentle personality. May he rest in peace and may his family be comforted by great memories.