Donna Rae Turner was born May 14th, 1937 in Decorah, Iowa to Herman and Elise Stegan. As 1 of 5 daughters, she grew up working on her family’s farm and playing in the creeks, forest, and fields with her sisters and double cousins. After graduating from high school Donna moved into an apartment with cousins Bonnie and Elane, and friends Rosalyn and Marlys, on Blaisdell Ave in Minneapolis. Their place would quickly become stomping grounds for both Stegans and Turners alike.
Donna met Darel (Red) through a double date with Marlys and her boyfriend, Ted. Ted and Red delighted in seeing if they could make Donna blush, but it was Darel’s spiffy bow ties that made a lasting impression. Darel and Donna were married on May 31st, 1958. On their wedding day, they moved into the home they built together. Laying down roots on Bronson Drive, where they raised their five children; Andrea, Denise, Anne, Daniel, and Christopher.
In 1976, Donna went to work at Sunnyside Elementary. She quickly found her passion; nurturing both staff and students. In 1990, she transferred to Edgewood Middle School to spearhead its reopening. A staunch supporter of public education, Donna worked in the Mounds View School District for over 35 years.
One of Donna’s greatest joys came later in life. Donna loved being a grandmother and great-grandmother and was very proud of each of her grandkids. She spent countless hours caring for her family, never missing a special event and always ensuring there was plenty of food to share. Donna was a strong supporter of music and the arts and frequently attended local theater productions with her loved ones.
Donna Rae Turner passed away peacefully in her sleep on March 9th, 2022 at the age of 84. Donna is preceded in death by husband Darel, parents Elise and Herman, and sister Jean. She is survived by sisters, Caryl, Linda, and Beverly; children, Andrea, Denise (Dan V.), Anne (Daniel), Daniel (Julie), and Christopher; grandchildren, Jacob, Daniel, Carly, Siobhan, Sarah, and Ryan; and great-granddaughter, Leona.
Services will be held at 11:00 am on Monday, March 28th, 2022 at the Church of St. Timothy, 707 89th Ave NE, Blaine MN 55434. Visitation will begin one hour before the service. In lieu of flowers, donations preferred to Feed My Starving Children.