The beautiful, classy, Donna Marie Johnson of Ortonville, MN, was 75 when she peacefully passed away and was called to Heaven on Monday, April 4, 2022.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Tuesday, April 12, 2022, at 11:00 a.m. at St. John’s Catholic Church in Ortonville. Visitation will be held one hour prior to the service at the church on Tuesday. Fr. Brian Oestreich will celebrate the Mass and interment will be at Mound Cemetery in Ortonville.
Donna Marie (Karels) Johnson was born on December 3, 1946, to the late Danny and Lucy (Wollschlager) Karels. Donna grew up in the Ortonville area graduating from Ortonville High School. During high school years, she worked at Carl & Ruth’s Cafe where she found her love for cooking. Also, during that time, she worked at Vikre Studios as an assistant.
Donna was united in marriage to Lee F. Johnson of Ortonville on October 3, 1964, and together they were blessed with four children: Shawnda, Ra’Keeta, Jason, and Laci. They lived in Seattle, WA, and New Ulm, MN, for a short time in their early years, settling back to Ortonville in 1970. Rustling Elms Resort would become their forever home.
In 1984, Donna assumed the role of manager at Ortonville Golf Club after her dear mother, Lucy’s sudden death. In this role, she touched so many lives through her generosity, her love of homestyle cooking, and the development of lifelong friendships. After 25 years at the golf course, she devoted her efforts at home to the family business. She loved to entertain family and friends, often times serving memorable meals and sharing recipes that others “just couldn’t duplicate.” She relished in family gatherings, and it was often said, she was the cornerstone of the family. She never missed an opportunity to give anything and everything she had, when called upon. Her zesty attitude toward life is what made her so unique and memorable. She loved her golf cart rides through the park sparking up conversations and letting it be known she was still in charge! She made everyone feel like family and welcomed. She truly was a gift and will be deeply missed by all.
Donna is survived by her four children: Shawnda Johnson of Ortonville, MN; Ra’Keeta (Kevin) Pfingsten of Fairmont, MN; Jason (Tricia) Johnson of Grand Forks, ND; and Laci (Mike) Wille of Woodbury, MN; eight grandchildren: Myles (Brittany) Pfingsten, Mitchell (Ellie) Pfingsten, Matthew (Betsy) Pfingsten, Elise Johnson, Ava Johnson, Owen Johnson, Eva Wille, and Jada Wille; three brothers: Dennis (Karen) Karels, Jim (Julie) Karels, and John Karels; seven sisters: Carol (Mick) Cooper, Marge (Hank) Lubbesmeyer, Lorrie (Francis) Spors, Ceil (Ron) Hage, Mary (Greg) Amberg-Peterson, Janet Hedge, and Brenda (Jim) McMahon-Johnson; along with many nieces and nephews.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Lee F. Johnson; parents, Daniel and Lucy Karels; and her brother, Mike Karels.