Donna C. Hanson, 89
Blue Earth Donna Clarice (Ristau, Huwe) Hanson, age 89, died peacefully at St. Luke’s Care Center in Blue Earth, on Thursday evening, Aug. 18, 2016. She is now reunited in heaven with many of her closest loved ones including her first husband of 28 years (1947-1976), Rev. Donavon Huwe, her second husband of 33 years (1978-2012) Ervin Hanson, her son, Gregory Huwe, her daughter, Sheila Everts, her brother, Ronald Ristau, her parents Edward and Emma (Peter) Ristau, and step-grandson Jason Myers. She is survived by her sister, Darleen (Lyle) Evans, sister-in-law, Virginia Ristau, daughter, Christine (Robert) Mellem, son-in-law, Edward Everts, daughter-in-law, Barbara Huwe, four step-children, Kathy (Ron) Thompson, Bruce (Sandy) Hanson, Doug (Cheryl) Hanson, Debbie Wertjes, eight grandchildren, 10 step-grandchildren, five great-grandchildren and six step-great-grandchildren.
Funeral services will be held on Saturday, Sept. 10, 2016, at 10 a.m., at St. Paul Lutheran Church in Blue Earth, with Rev. William Sabol officiating. Burial will be in Lakeside Cemetery, Fairmont. Visitation time will be one hour prior to the service at the church.
Donna was born March 7, 1927 on the family farm near Elmore. She was baptized as a child of God at St. John’s Lutheran church and subsequently dedicated her life to Christian service. After graduating as valedictorian of Elmore High School, Donna went on to Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota for one year. After that, she worked as an office manager, secretary, and bookkeeper at Mueller Hardware in Elmore until marrying her college roommate’s cousin, Don Huwe. Soon they started a family in Parkers Prairie, where Don ran a trucking business in his hometown. After 12 years of marriage and three children, the couple made the huge commitment to sell their business and move to Springfield, Illinois so that Don could go to the seminary to become a Lutheran minister. Donna worked in a bank during that time to help support the family, and later as a church secretary while her husband was pastor of congregations in Hiawatha, and Kansas City, Kansas, and Fairmont. All the while, she nurtured and taught her children, sewed their clothing, cooked delicious meals, tended a big vegetable garden, canned the produce, read avidly, completed daily crossword puzzles, did much volunteer church work, played piano, reached out in friendship to many, and prayed ceaselessly for others.
After her first husband died of cancer at age 49, she went to work as the deputy clerk of court for Martin County in Fairmont, MN. 2 years later she married Ervin Hanson and moved to Blue Earth, where she has lived ever since. Here she worked at North Country Homes as a bookkeeper, and later as her husband’s secretary for Lutheran Brotherhood Insurance. Donna also volunteered as a bookkeeper for St. Luke’s Lutheran Care Center Foundation, at the information desk in the UHD clinic, and as the Red Cross chapter secretary for several decades. She stayed active in Bible studies and Lutheran Women’s Missionary League all her life. She lived independently all the way up until April, after which she suffered several bouts of pneumonia which necessitated her move to St. Luke’s where she had many friends and relatives nearby all the time. She also knew many of the staff members well after volunteering there for many years. It was the best possible place for her to spend her last months. Her caregivers were angels, and she appreciated them beyond measure.
No one can ever replace Donna as the strong foundation of our family, a steadfast friend, concerned listener, proud encourager, and stalwart intercessor in prayer. Our hearts are broken, but we know we will embrace her again someday in heaven. Meanwhile, she celebrates a new more abundant spiritual life with her Sovereign Lord and Savior and many loved ones who have gone before her!
Web tributes may be left at www.pattonfh.com
Memorials preferred to the St. Luke’s Lutheran Care Center or to Lutheran Hour Ministry.