Cover photo for Donna Gustafson's Obituary
Donna Gustafson Profile Photo
1927 Donna 2015

Donna Gustafson

July 29, 1927 — October 27, 2015

Donna Gustafson, age 88, of Spicer, passed away peacefully in her sleep at her home on Green Lake the morning of October 27, 2015.

Funeral services will be 1:30 p.m. Sunday, November 8, at Vinje Lutheran Church in Willmar with visitation one hour prior to the service at the church. Interment will be at Fairview Cemetery in Willmar. In lieu of flowers, memorials are preferred to the donor's choice.

Donna Marie Gustafson was born in Willmar, Minnesota on July 29, 1927 to Dr. Robert J. and Blanche (Vinton) Hodapp. She grew up on the North Side and was the Valedictorian of her Willmar High School class in 1945 and graduated from Carleton College in 1949 where she majored in music. Donna taught music in New York City and sang professionally with the Robert Shaw Chorale. She returned to Willmar when her father died and became the driver of the Pioneerland Library System Bookmobile.

Donna met her future husband, Wally at a young Republicans' Convention in St. Cloud and they were married on June 4, 1955 at the First Presbyterian Church in Willmar.

Donna was happy to be a stay-at-home mom and supported Wally in all of his varied and many endeavors. She had perfect pitch and was a talented musician and choir director. She taught Sunday school, release-time classes and directed the high school choir at Vinje Lutheran Church. She prepared and served countless meals as a member of the serving committee and also delivered Meals on Wheels for many years. She was a member of the Round Table Study Club and many bridge clubs whose members wanted to be her partner.

She was intelligent, a great wit and always offered a kind and supportive word. She was creative, loved to read and enjoyed the challenge of the New York Times crossword puzzle each day. She was a consummate decorator and set a beautiful table. Wally and Donna enjoyed entertaining their host of relatives, friends and supporters at their home after Legislative victories and to celebrate New Year's Eve and the Fourth of July.

Donna enjoyed being outdoors. She loved animals and always had at least one pet. She nursed many injured wild animals back to health. She and her sister, Barbara made annual trips up the North Shore to Grand Marais where her father had been a teacher. Donna enjoyed driving the RV when she and Wally traveled the country. She loved Green Lake, the Ranch, picnics and wiener roasts. Most of all she loved her family! Donna was a "class act" and the "genuine article."

She is survived by her husband, Wally; their daughters, Ann Marie Gustafson of Spicer and her children, Wallace Ann and Frank and Sarah (Gary) Turnquist of Maple Grove and their children, Aaron and Emily.

She was predeceased by her parents and her siblings, Barbara J. Hodapp and Dr. Robert V. Hodapp.


Cemetery Details

Fairview Cemetery
Gorton Avenue NW
Willmar, MN, 56201

Visitation

NOV 8. 12:30 PM - 01:30 PM

Vinje Lutheran Church

1101 Willmar Avenue SW

Willmar, MN, US, 56201

http://www.vinjechurch.com

Service

NOV 8. 01:30 PM

Vinje Lutheran Church

1101 Willmar Avenue SW

Willmar, MN, US, 56201

http://www.vinjechurch.com

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Donna Gustafson, please visit our flower store.

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