ST. CLOUD, Minn –
The Coborn’s family suffered a tragedy, as Dan Coborn, former Chairman, President, and C.E.O. of Coborn’s Inc. passed away peacefully Wednesday morning at the age of 86.
“He was really known for his smile, but a lot of people looked up to him as a mentor as well,” said Kevin Hurd, communications and engagement specialist for Coborn’s, Inc.
Dan graduated from Sauk Rapids High School in 1948, and attended Saint. Johns University where he graduated in 1952 with a degree in economics. In that same year he met his wife Mabel Hansen. Dan and Mabel had been married for 64 years.
Coborn was the third of seven children, and his brothers chose him to take over the company when their father passed away in 1959.
He served as C.E.O. until he retired in 1999.
“He really kinda had his hands everywhere, and was a real hands-on guy in taking ownership in the company,” said Hurd.
Dan had an impact outside the workplace as well as he involved himself, and provided gifts to local high schools and colleges such as St. Cloud Cathedral High School, St. Cloud Technical College, St. Cloud State University, and the College of Saint Benedict and Saint John’s University.
In 2002 he received the Father Walter Reger Distinguished Alumnus Award, the highest possible honor given at Saint. John’s University.
“He just really valued education, and really valued the idea of ensuring that people had access to a good quality education,” said Hurd.
He was also partially responsible for bringing the nursing program to St. Cloud State University. Dan and his son Chris were also instrumental in bringing the Herb Brooks National Hockey Center, Herb Brooks, and Division I hockey to St. Cloud State.
Dan and Mabel became charter members of United Way of Central Minnesota. He was also a founding member on the board of the Boys and Girls Club of Central Minnesota.
In 1987, Dan was named Minnesota Grocer of the Year by the Minnesota Grocers Association for leadership, and commitment to customers.
Dan will be missed by all in the Coborn’s family and community.
“Dan was someone that employees saw as kind of a family member, so this loss is very tough for people across our organization,” said Hurd.
Dan leaves behind his wife Mabel, five children, his sister Nancy, 10 grandchildren, and 1 great-grandchild.