Friday, August 2, 2019

9:30 - 11:00 AM

St. Joseph of the Lakes Catholic Church

171 Elm Street, Lino Lakes

Mass of Christian Burial

Friday, August 2, 2019

11:00 AM

St. Joseph of the Lakes Catholic Church

171 Elm Street, Lino Lakes

Donna M. Carlson

November 9, 1942 – July 24, 2019

Donna was born the first of four children, in St. Paul, MN on November 9th, 1942, to Harold and Loraine (Trierweiler) Casper. At her birth her parents were living with Donna's grandmother Mary Trierweiler. They would soon move to be with her father who was training for World War II. Donna attended grade school at St. Casimirs in St. Paul and graduated from White Bear High School. She later attended Lakewood Community College, where she received a two-year Associates degree. When her youngest child Elaina was enrolled at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Donna enrolled also. She graduated Summa Cum Laude, majoring in English with a minor in Business.

Donna met her husband, Harry Carlson, of Evansville, MN in 1963 while they were both working at the Toni/Gillette Company in St. Paul. In 1964 they were married at the Cathedral in St. Paul, MN. During their 55 plus years of marriage they were blessed with four children and seven grandchildren. Family was very important to Donna; she loved being a mother and grandmother. Her favorite holiday with her children was always Christmas; sending Christmas cards was very important. When her children were young, they would spend many Christmases with Harry's parents in Evansville, MN.

During her life, Donna became an active member of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary parish when they purchased their first home in St. Paul in 1966. Monsignor Rutkowski at Presentation encouraged Donna to become a member of the Legion of Mary. Part of the Legion's effort included outreach in the church's community. In 1973 Donna would suffer the most painful time of her life, her fourth and youngest child, Matthew, died suddenly. Time passes, but the love of a mother does not.

 In January of 1974, Donna’s family moved to their new home in Lino Lakes, MN, where they became members of St. Joseph of the Lakes. In time, Donna would serve as a Lay Presider and Eucharistic Minister. In 1981, she was the founding coordinator for the home delivered meals at St. Josephs, and in 1986 she was the founding coordinator of the Parish Loaves and Fishes Too Program. She also served as the editor of the St. Joseph newsletter. In 2004, Donna and Harry began construction of their new home in Millerville Township, where they became members of the Church of Our Lady of Seven Dolors in Millerville.

Donna was also involved in many civic duties in Lino Lakes. Some of these included, serving on the Planning and Zoning Board, the city council for eight years, the 20-20 Vision Advisory Group, and the Centennial Fire District Steering Committee. In 2005, Donna would receive the Meritorious Citizenship Award from the Minnesota State Patrol. She also served with the Fairview Lakes Regional Health Care Board, the Memorial District Hospital Board, and the Minnesota Hospital Association Trustee Council. Donna also liked bowling and was quite good at it. For many years she served as the secretary for the Greater East Side St. Paul Junior Bowling Association. She also coached junior bowling and was a tournament director.

Donna's outreach continued in 2015 when she became active with a great group, “Save our Pensions – Minnesota.” There she would work to preserve the pensions that were worked for and promised to retirees. Donna was able to speak out and write. One of her articles, "Red flags for those mapping out their retirement years", was even picked up by the Star Tribune. She has many loved and respected friends in this group.

Reading was Donna's favorite pastime; her personal library contained about 1000 books at one time. She enjoyed vegetable gardening, canning pickles, apple sauce, and jams. She especially enjoyed making many apple pies. Donna also had a love for genealogy and world history. Her loving, kind and understanding heart will be greatly missed.

Donna Marie Carlson passed away on July 24th, 2019, at the age of 76, surrounded by family at her home in Millerville Township, after facing a 19 month battle with pancreatic cancer with strength and without complaint. She is preceded in death by her son, Matthew; grandmother, Mary Treiweiler; her parents, Harold and Loraine Casper; her sister, Mary Jo; her brother, Harold; niece, Monica Walker, and brothers-in-law, Gary Larson, Brad Larson, and Fred Carlson.

Donna is survived by her husband of 55 years, Harry Carlson; children, Michael (LeeAnne) Carlson, Christine (Scott) Anderson, and Elaina (Ann) Carlson; grandchildren, Michaela (Justin) Kofoed, Cole Carlson, Jessica Carlson, Jordan Anderson, Alexandra Carlson, Alexa Ackerman, Aiden Ackerman; sister, Naomi (Ron) Berndt; sisters-in-law, Colleen (Clayton) Rustad, Dorothy (Roger) Anderson, Elaine Larson, Virginia (Gregg) Walker, Mary Larson, and Gloria Carlson; brother-in-law, Robert (Juane) Carlson, and many loved nieces and nephews.

Visitation will be held on Friday, August 2, 2019 from 9:30 to 11AM at the St. Joseph’s of the Lakes Catholic Church in Lino Lakes, followed by a Mass of Christian Burial at 11AM. Interment to follow in church cemetery. 

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