After a courageous battle with cancer and surrounded by her loving family, Donna Mary Schellbach passed away peacefully at home at age 76 on Friday, May 3 2013.
Donna was born at St. Mary’s Hospital in Minneapolis to William and Pearl Hansen in 1937. She attended Holy Angels School in Minneapolis. She met Dale R. Schellbach (Dick) when she was 16; Dick continued to court Donna while he was serving in the United States Army. They were engaged June 15, 1955 and were married July 23, 1955.
The couple began their family shortly thereafter and they were blessed with 11 children. In 1957, they bought a house in Circle Pines, Minn., where they lived until 1971; they then moved the family north to Rush City.
Donna loved her family and was a very active and involved mother. She taught catechism classes at Sacred Heart Church in Rush City and served as both a Girl Scout Leader and a Den Mother. Donna was a fabulous baker and kept a neat and clean house. Her children recall being called home by the 6 p.m. whistle every night to find a homemade supper on the table.
Christmas was a favorite time of Donna’s. She would head out with the family station wagon and come home a few days later with presents taking up every inch of the car.
As her children got older, Donna went to work at the Rush City Hospital. She continued to work there for 17 years until she was no longer able to continue. She enjoyed her work and positively impacted the lives of her co-workers and the hospital and clinic patients.
Donna had a passion for many things. She was a talented seamstress, knitter and embroiderer, making many clothing items for her children. Donna enjoyed gardening and dancing. She took square dancing lessons and would often recruit her children as dance partners at dances and weddings.
Bowling was another of Donna’s passions. For many years she bowled in leagues several nights a week. She and her daughter and daughter-in-laws bowled together in women’s leagues and in many tournaments. They would often travel to the Women’s National Tournament around the United States. She bowled with Dick and some of the children in a mixed Friday night league for many years as well.
Donna played the piano and took guitar lessons. She enjoyed all types of music, but especially Elvis. Dick and Donna would take summer motorcycle trips with friends to many places; one of her favorites was when they visited Graceland.
In the 1970s Dick and Donna built a cabin in McGregor. Donna felt blessed to spend many weekends and vacations with family at the cabin. The lake was also a source of one of her favorite meals – fish!
Donna was preceded in death by her son Robert Schellbach, who she greatly missed, parents, Pearl and William Hansen; her brother, William Hansen; her mother and father–in–law, Alice and Dale Schellbach; brother-in-law Harvey Halvorson, and sister-in-law, Gail Zerban.
She is survived, and will be missed, by her husband, Dick Schellbach; her sister, Karen (Mike) Mohs; her brother and sister-in-laws, Billy Schellbach (Evelyn); Patty Halvorson; Geraldine Schellbach; and Karen (Don) Sollars; her children, Deb Kozisek, Jackie (Lonnie) Nordstrom, Rick (Robin) Schellbach, Jerry (Holly) Schellbach, Kris Zvanovec, Dana (Joalea) Schellbach, Julie (Randy) Chilson, John (Sheena) Schellbach, Joe Schellbach, and Dale Schellbach. Donna is also survived by 24 grandchildren, 12 great grandchildren, and many nieces and nephews.
An open house celebrating Donna will be held in The Spare Room at Chucker’s Bowl in Rush City, 4 to 7:30 p.m., Thursday, May 9. A prayer and memorial service will follow.