5 Days: Howie & Don

There are people in your life in any field of work that help teach, train, disciple, and mentor you. In April, I lost two of my long-time mentors five days apart: Dr. Howard (Howie) Nourse and Donald Distelberg. Scripture teaches that “iron sharpens iron.”  Howie and Don sharpened me, sometimes in a friendly way, and a few times behind closed doors in some “Big Boy Chats.” They challenged me to be a better fund and management consultant, husband, father, and a more committed follower of Christ.

Howie was an NCAA champ as the 6’ 9” center for Ohio State. Don cut his fundraising teeth at Calvin University in the advancement office and was a mile-wide and 50 miles deep with experience. Don was still working part time on TTG projects and was one of the most knowledgeable stewardship officers in the world.

Howie graduated to glory on April 18, 2021. He was 82 years old. I had a 20-minute phone call with Don on Thursday, April 22nd. He died on Friday, April 23rd. He was 75 years old. Shock would be an understatement! I hope I am ready to pass along the wisdom, knowledge, and know-how they shared with me over 30 years at TTG. I know I am ready! Howie and Don, rest in peace. You fought the good fight, you finished the course, and now you are enjoying eternity with your Savior.

I miss you both, Pat.


Donald Distelberg
Dr. Howard (Howie) Nourse
  • David Earle
    Posted at 08:55h, 06 May Reply

    As a brother in Christ, Pat, I offer you my sympathies and prayers at the loss of these mentors in your life. A good and godly mentor is such a wonderful blessing. Also, as a brother in Christ, I rejoice with you that Don and Howie are in the presence of our Lord and Savior, Jesus.

    May God’s perfect peace and comfort be with you and the families of Don and Howie.

  • Dan DiDonato
    Posted at 09:44h, 06 May Reply

    Great respect and admiration for both of these exceptional fund development professionals. I did not get to work with Howie Nourse very much but know of his valuable counsel and expertise. Don Distelberg was a friend and mentor and especially helpful in the area of planned and deferred giving. During my time as VP, Development at Shepherds, Don provided a review, evaluation and recommendations for our Planned Giving Program that guided us in the advancement and expansion of our financial and estate planning efforts that proved to be a great benefit to the ministry. Don continued to assist with guidance and counsel in planned giving during my time as consultant for the Timothy Group. Both of these faithful servants will be missed. Our prayers and sympathy to their families.

  • Daniel H Bjokne
    Posted at 15:57h, 06 May Reply

    Excellent Post!!

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