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Obituaries

Donna Mae (Sawatzky) Wolters

Donna Mae Sawatzky was born May 16, 1930, to Jacob W. and Helen J. (Pankratz) Sawatzky. After graduation, Donna accepted a job in Mankato and later moved to Minneapolis, where she worked for Soo Line Railroad until her retirement. Donna was united in marriage to Roderick Wolters in April 1967. They remained in Minneapolis until they were fully retired, then moved to Leisure World in Mesa, Ariz. Donna and “Roddy” loved to travel and enjoyed walking and hiking, whether around the town of Darfur, or hiking the Grand Canyon. Every step was an adventure. Roddy passed away in June of 2009. Donna loved music, especially Gospel, and served as organist for different churches throughout her life. On March 16, 2013, Donna was united in marriage to Vernon Rich. Donna and Vern continued to enjoy traveling together. Some of their favorite trips were on cruise ships hosted by the Gaither Family Gospel Singers. Together, Donna and Vern were an inspiration to the many young couples they met while travelling. Donna passed away at home on Jan. 20, 2021, at the age of 90. She was a blessing to all who knew her.

Donna is survived by husband, Vern, of Mesa, Ariz.; nephew, Tim and Nancy Sawatzky of Pennock; niece, Lisa and John Schumann of Darfur; Roddy’s children: Dwight and Valerie Wolters of Wylie, Texas; Jeff and Glenna Wolters of Coon Rapids; Kathy Thomas of Kearns, Utah; and Kevin and Lydia Wolters of Las Vegas, Nev. She is also survived by Vern’s children: David Rich of Los Angeles, Calif.; Coral Rich of Sonoma, Calif.; and Melissa and David Kidwell of Queen Creek, Ariz.; as well as the children and grandchildren of her many family members. She was preceded in death by her parents; first husband, Roddy; brother, Harvey Sawatzky; and sister-in-law, Marilyn Sawatzky of Darfur. Funeral services scheduled for Saturday, Aug. 7, 2021, at 2 p.m., at the First Mennonite Church, Butterfield

Irene Loewen

Irene Loewen, 97, of Mt. Lake died July 21, 2021, at Good Samaritan Society-The Village in Mt. Lake. Funeral services will be held Thursday at 1:30 p.m., at Trinity Lutheran Church in Mt. Lake with Rev. Rick Bremseth officiating. Burial will follow at Mt. Lake City Cemetery. Visitation will be held at the church for one hour prior to services. Sturm Funeral Home of Mt. Lake is handling the funeral arrangements.

Irene Florence Johnson was born Jan. 3, 1924, to Otto and Jennie (Loof) Johnson in Mt. Lake. She was raised in the Mt. Lake area and attended District 67 and Mt. Lake Public schools. She was baptized and made confession of faith in 1950 at Christian Reform Church, north of Mt. Lake. Irene married Nick N. Loewen in 1950 and together they lived in Mt. Lake. Prior to their marriage, Irene worked at Butterfield Produce. She also worked at The Toro Company in Windom for three years before working as a grocery store clerk for 24 years at Rich’s Fairway and Maynard’s. Irene spent her entire life in the Mt. Lake area, moving to Parkwood Apartments and then The Village in her later years. Irene enjoyed spending time with her nieces and nephews, baby-sitting them, as well as playing games and sports with them. She also enjoyed crocheting, embroidering and made many dresses for family members. While a member at Christian Reform Church, Irene taught Bible School and was involved in the young people’s group. For 30 years, she also participated in her church’s ladies aid group. When Irene and Nick transferred to Trinity Lutheran Church in 1980, she belonged to the Trinity Lutheran Women’s Missionary League and quilted with that group. She also helped with crafts at GSS-The Village.

As the last of her siblings and their spouses, she was preceded in death by her husband, Nick, in 1982; and siblings: Gertrude (Samuel) Harder, John (Gustie) Johnson, Ella (Otto) Olson, Harm (Mary) Johnson, Verna (Raymond) Oeltjenbruns, Leland (Verna) Johnson, and Harry and Mable in infancy.