Growing up in Joliet, Illinois, Don attended Bloom Township High School and played baseball, basketball and football. After high school he entered the military where he organized the first WAC basketball team and coached other teams.
He entered Lake Forest in 1946. While at Lake Forest , he played basketball and served as athletic trainer for football and baseball. He was also president of Phi Pi Epsilon fraternity and a member of the Activities Council.
Graduating with a history and education degree, he started a long career with the City of Highwood in 1952. He initiated and promoted many activities, including the Junior Olympics. As recreation director for the City and director of the Highwood Community Center he organized and coached many youth teams, which became widely known for the numerous championships they won.
In 1956, Don conceived the idea of a youth basketball team for boys under five feet tall. Within ten years the popularity of "Little Guys" made it an international event, drawing attention to Don and the city of Highwood. In 1957, the program was expanded to include girls as well, and "Little Gals" was patented.
A member of the National Recreation Association and the Illinois Association for Health, Don was also the first recipient of the Highwood Mayor's Cup. After his death from cancer in 1978, the Don Skrinar Memorial Baseball Field was dedicated in recognition of his contributions to the children in his community