Donald E. Polson

Donald E. Polson, 70, of Laramie, passed away on September 6, 2023, in Greeley, Colorado surrounded by family.

Don was born November 23, 1952, in Newport Beach, California to Edward and Pauline (Tomsik) Polson.

Following graduation from Green River High School in 1971, Don studied Engineering at the University of Wyoming, earning his B.S. & M.S. degrees in Architectural/Structural Engineering.  The majority of Don’s career was spent teaching at the UW College of Engineering.  In 1996, Don spent a sabbatical year in Malaysia helping to establish a technical institute and train local instructors.  He was also employed by Purdue University and during this time, Don was named a Fulbright Scholar.

Besides spending time with family, Don really enjoyed 60s rock music, collecting, and restoring vintage cars, and cheering on the UW Cowboys and Cowgirls.

Preceded in death by his parents and sister Kay, Don is survived by his wife Leslie, daughters Lindsey, Gelsey (Kipp), Wendy (Cameron), twelve beloved grandchildren; Jeremy, Tyler, Megan, Lucy, Bode, Cruze, Flynn, Brecken, Miley, Landon, Adler, and Kennedy, sister Sally (Monte) Leavitt, brother Paul Polson, and many nieces and nephews.

In lieu of flowers, tune up your car and check the air pressure in your tires.  Don would approve.

A private graveside service will be held October 6, followed by a Celebration of Life at the Laramie Train Depot at 11:00 a.m.

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Condolences (11)

  • Salim Hiziroglu

    I learned accidently such sad news that we lost Don. We shared the same office for one year during our work in Batu Pahat , Malaysia in 1996. He was very kind and nice friend. My condolences to family members.

  • Mike Strittmater

    I took classes from Don and Glenn Mullens and they were simply THE BEST INSTRUCTORS in the college! Whatever they taught, they were always fun, professional and inspiring! I saw Don a few years back and he remembered me, always an honor. When I taught, I tried to use the same enthusiasm and real world experience he used in his teaching! I have always thought the College of Engineering could use more people like Don, good teachers with great chemisty with the students!

  • khaled ksaibati

    Don was a great guy with a loving heart. Early on in my career at UW, we spent a good deal of time chatting in his office about every aspect of life. He was the kind of person that you can trust and talk to for as long as you need. Don had so much positive energy which he was willing to pass to others around him. For years after he retired from UW, I saw him walking early in the morning in the neighborhood. Although that it feels sad that he passed away, the bright side is very clear: Don impacted so many young lives by providing them with the best learning experience which would stay with them for the rest of their careers. My sincere condolences to his family and friends.

  • Katherine Klein

    Don Polson one of the “good guys”! Don had a whitty sense of humor, loved muscle cars, loved WY Cowboys , proud of his girls and all of his grandchildren. Don will leave an empty spot on earth and was loved by all that knew him.

  • Monica (Banks)Fowler

    I am so sad to hear of Don's passing. I loved babysitting for the girls. Don and Leslie were such fun people. I hope that you all find comfort in one another at this difficult time. Sending thoughts and prayers to you all. Monica (Banks) Fowler

  • Jim and Barb Rasmussen

    We are so sorry to hear about the passing of your amazing husband, Don. Don was always such a polite and pleasant man, it was a real pleasure knowing him. Leslie, you and your family are in our thoughts and prayers. You will always have comfort in all the memories you shared and knowing you will be together again. Loves and hugs sent to you.💕 Jim and Barb Rasmussen

  • Cheryl Schroeder Finley

    I’m so sorry to hear about Don’s passing. What a good man he was. I first met Don my freshman year in college when we lived on the same floor of Downey. Lots of fun card games ensued. My sincere condolences to his family and dear friends. Cheryl Schroeder Finley

  • Shelley (Towler) Leonard

    My condoleces to all his family. I know he will be missed. Don was a solid and good guy and an excellent Engineer. I relied on his expertise on a couple of occasions when people were challenging my expertise and resources as a private general conractor. Thank you Don, it was a privilege.

  • Vince Garcia

    I had Don Polson as an instructor for timber design at the University of Wyoming in the mid 1980's. He was a fantastic teacher and I will always remember his perfect handwriting and his professionalism. His printing was perfectly horizontal and looked like a typewriter even when printing on a blackboard. And his lectures were perfectly timed for each class period. He really seemed to love teaching and it showed every day when he conducted class. I learned so much from him about timber design but I think I learned even more about being a professional engineer from him. I have all of his notes and someone will have to decide what to do with them when I pass because I will keep them in my home office until I no longer need a home.

  • Christian Haglund

    I had the honor of working with Mr. Olson At Uw in architectural engineering. We always had a great time talking about the latest in sports cars. I'm so sad to hear about your passing, my friend. Christian Haglund


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