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Donna L. E. Ahrens – Obituary

Name: Donna L. E. Ahrens

Age: 77

Born: 11-01-1944

Died: 01-31-2022

Daniel-Anderson Funeral Home, Paynesville, Minnesota

Paynesville Lutheran Church

Donna L. E. Ahrens, age 77, of Paynesville, Minnesota, passed away on January 31, 2022 due to complications of pulmonary fibrosis.

A Celebration of Life will be 11 a.m. on Saturday, April 2, 2022 at Paynesville Lutheran Church in Paynesville. Reverend Paul Shumaker will officiate.  Burial of cremated remains will take place in the Paynesville Cemetery.

Visitation will be held from 4-8 p.m. on Friday, April 1 at the Daniel-Anderson Funeral Home in Paynesville.  Visitation will continue after 10 a.m. on Saturday at the church.

Masks are welcome, but if not feeling well or cannot attend in person, please join us through the live stream of the Service on Saturday at paynesvillelutheran.org

Donna was born on November 1, 1944 on a farm north of Paynesville to parents Paul and Irene Hemmesch. She was second eldest of 11 children. She graduated from Paynesville High School in 1962 and attended Mankato St. University and St. Cloud Business College. She worked as an administrative assistant for Sister Jamine at the St. Cloud Hospital before she married Lew Ahrens in 1964. They raised their family and farmed north of Paynesville for 48 years until his death in 2013.

Donna’s interests and passions often focused on education and high school activities and sports. She served on the Paynesville School board and later worked as administrative assistant to the Superintendent of Paynesville schools for over 20 years until her retirement in 2006. She and Lew were very passionate supporters of high school sports and she was the announcer for various Paynesville High School sporting events including football, volleyball and wresting. She also enjoyed attending local amateur baseball games in the summer, attending Gopher and Twins games, playing cards, reading books, gardening, sewing, cross-stitch, traveling on numerous bus trips throughout the US and Canada, visiting casinos and playing bingo.

Donna was also very strong in her Christian faith and frequently served at St. Paul’s Lutheran church including ushering, participating in stewardship council meetings and teaching Sunday school. She was recently a member of Paynesville Lutheran Church and often volunteered with the Rose Center recycling eye glasses, driving folks to their appointments and delivering Meals on Wheels.

Donna was a beloved wife, wonderful mother and unconditional friend to many in the Paynesville community. She endured a number of health-related issues in recent years and earned the nickname Wonder Woman with her seemingly never-ending positive attitude and resilience through it all.

Surviving Donna is her son, Thomas Ahrens of Paynesville, daughter Terese (Brian) Mattson of Robbinsdale, grandson Nicholas of Paynesville; siblings Ken (Jane) Hemmesch of St. Cloud, LaVon Gustafson of New London, Beverly (Patrick) Hemmesch of Eden Prairie, Keith (Sandy) Hemmesch of Paynesville, Craig (Jody) Hemmesch of Big Lake, Paula Jo Davis (Brad) of Elk River, Kurt (Bonnie) Hemmesch of Cold Spring, Kellan (Shelly) Hemmesch of Sartell; sister-in-laws Pat Hemmesch of Burnsville, Mary Hemmesch of Sauk Rapids, Jerrine (Jim) Posey of Paynesville, Sheryl Schmiginsky of Paynesville, Rhonda Wendlandt of Paynesville, and many nieces and nephews.

She is preceded in death by her husband Lew Ahrens, parents, Paul and Irene Hemmesch, brothers Con Hemmesch, Kevin Hemmesch, infant brother Kernan Hemmesch, brother-in laws Chuck Gustafson, Robert Wendlandt and Roger Ahrens.

We want to thank all of our extended family, friends, and the many members of her caregiver teams for all the support and care they have provided. Memorials preferred in lieu of flowers to Paynesville High School or Paynesville Lutheran Church.

Guestbook for Donna L. E. Ahrens

Joan Brogaard
, Worked with Donna in the District Office from 1994 until her retirement
April 1, 2022, 3:44 pm
My sincere sympathy to your family. I had many good years working with Donna at school and valued her friendship.

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