Donna “Doni” L. Nelson

Donna “Doni” L. Nelson, age 70 of North Branch passed away on Thursday, September 7, 2017 at home surrounded by close family.
Doni was born on November 10, 1946 in St. Paul to parents, Kenneth and Florence (Newton) Lynn. She graduated from the University of Minnesota with a degree in Education. Doni taught Physical Education for over 25 years at North Branch, Forest Lake, Coon Rapids and ending in San Diego, California. Doni loved nothing more than to be active. Sharing their passion for golf, Jim and Doni could be seen on the golf course every day. She loved to dance and never was there a time she didn’t turn down an arm wrestling challenge. She fought her battle with ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease with grace and dignity, never losing her strong willed spirit and the twinkle in her eye and the smile on her face.
Doni is survived by her husband of 50 years, Jim; daughter Katie (John) Jepsen of Minneapolis; son Lanny Nelson of San Diego, CA; her two grandchildren, Alex and Britt Jepsen whom were the light of her life; her sister, Mary Kay (Bob) Swenson of Brooklyn Park. She is also survived by many nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.
Doni is preceded in death by her parents, Florence and Kenneth.
Memorial services will be held at 11 a.m. on Wednesday, September 13, 2017 at Main Street Church in North Branch with Pastor Ralph Holbrook and Pastor Steve Newton and Deacon Kevin Jents officiating. Visitation will be held from 4-7 p.m. on Tuesday, September 12th at the Grandstrand Funeral Home in North Branch and also one hour prior to the service at church on Wednesday. Interment following the service at Oak Hill Cemetery in North Branch.
The family would like to extend their deepest thank you to the Fairview Hospice/Pallative Care Team, the ALS Association, to her team of doctors at HCMC, and to all the friends and people who made this journey easier. We as a family found comfort, support and love from all of you.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to the ALS Association (Doni’s Road Runners).
Arrangements are under the direction of Grandstrand Funeral Home in North Branch. Condolences may be expressed online at

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