Floral 17

Donna M. (Erickson) Krueger

February 1, 1928 ~ October 21, 2021 (age 93)

Obituary

Donna Mae (Erickson) Krueger was welcomed into the arms of Jesus to begin her eternal life in her new heavenly home at age 93 on October 21, 2021. Donna is survived by her loving husband, Vilas Krueger.

Donna Mae, as she was known as a child, was born on a snowy day on February 1, 1928 to Stanley and Daisey (Dahl) Erickson in Minneapolis, MN. She happily became a big sister when her dear brother Stanley was born two years later. Her stay in Minneapolis was short, as her family moved to Spokane, WA in 1929, and later, to Tacoma, WA in 1942. In spite of being born on the brink of the Great Depression, Donna had a happy childhood and was very close to her family and her extended family, which included her maternal grandparents, aunts, uncle, and cousins, who adored her and took her on many adventures.

Donna started working while still in High School in Tacoma, first at the Mt. Rainier Ordnance Depot, and then at Brown and Haley Candy Company. Donna graduated from Lincoln High School in Tacoma WA in 1946, followed by studies at Linfield College in McMinnville, Oregon and Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, Washington.

Donna met Vilas in Tacoma in 1949, on a blind date. She hated blind dates, but a friend asked her to go and she couldn't think of an excuse. By chance, Donna sat in the front seat next to Vilas, who was driving. They started talking and never stopped, and quickly began spending all their meager but precious free time together. Before Vilas left the Army to return to Wisconsin, he asked her to marry him and move to Wisconsin, and she said yes to both. She soon received her engagement ring in the mail, and Vilas returned to marry her two months later, on March 11, 1950. Their honeymoon was a drive back to Wisconsin, which involved seeing shivering buffalo in Yellowstone and a foggy Mt. Rushmore.

When they arrived in Clintonville, they rented an upstairs apartment and Donna joined Vilas' church, St. Martin Lutheran Church. She quickly felt at home at St. Martin and remained a member with Vilas for the rest of her life. Besides finding a spiritual home at St. Martin, where she often taught Sunday School and VBS and sang in the choir, she also made many lifelong friends.

Soon after arriving in Clintonville, Donna was hired to be the personal secretary of Max Stieg, the president of Dairyman's Bank. She made many friends at the bank and worked there until a few months before her first child, Paul, was born in 1952. By that time, Donna and Vilas had bought their first house in Clintonville, on McKinley Ave. When their second child, Phillip, was on the way in 1955, they realized that house wouldn't hold two boys, so they bought a larger house on 14th St. Donna loved their 14th St. house, which became even more bustling when Mary was born in 1957. That same year, they bought a lot on Cloverleaf Lakes and built a cottage, where the family happily spent their summers. Those summers gradually extended to springs, summers, and falls until, in 1968, they added on to the cottage and moved there permanently. When Mark was born in 1970, the house was filled and the family was complete.

Donna was a wonderful mother even in the midst of her children's happy mayhem. She was always ready for an interesting discussion on nearly any topic. Always a book lover, she introduced her children to the library at a very early age, and the librarians knew us all by name. Her family was always the center of her life, as it grew from her four children, Paul (Barb) Krueger, Phil (Mary) Krueger, Mary (Rick) Schultz, and Mark (Jo Ann Koga) Krueger, to include her nine grandchildren, Eric (Amber) Krueger, Jessica Krueger, Jenni (Alex) Kruener, Matt Krueger, Samantha Krueger, Amanda (Ryan) Zudonyi, Nathan Schultz, Laura Schultz, and Arisa Sky Koga Krueger, and her three great-grandchildren, Mason Rowley, Emerson Krueger, and June Krueger.

Donna loved to travel and was an amazing trip planner. Like her father, she loved to pore over maps. This skill proved invaluable for many family trips throughout the United States, Canada, and Europe. In later years, she and Vilas toured the country in their mini-motorhome and spent many winters in their home in Florida. Wherever they went, they made friends, many of whom still keep in touch.

When she thought about the end of her life on Earth, Donna looked forward to seeing her parents and grandparents again, to once again enjoying her father’s sense of humor and her mother’s laughter, to talking with her brother and meeting for the first time her younger sister, who was stillborn. She looked forward to seeing all her aunts and cousins and her dear in-laws and cherished friends, and all those who had gone before her. Now it is we who look forward to seeing her again.

The family would especially like to thank the staff at Appleton Retirement Community, and Dr. Alice Boshoven and the staff at Mosaic Family Health in Appleton for the wonderful care they gave Donna.

A celebration of the earthly and eternal life of Donna Krueger will be held on Saturday, October 30, 2021 at 1pm at St. Martin Lutheran Church in Clintonville WI with Rev. Brian Weber officiating, followed by a graveside service at Graceland Cemetery. Friends may call at the church starting at 12:00pm until the time of the service. In order to protect our elderly family members from Covid, the family would appreciate it if masks were worn indoors by all. If you would like, memorials in Donna’s name may be given to St. Martin Lutheran Church, 100 S Clinton Ave, Clintonville, WI 54929.

 

 

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Services

Visitation
Saturday
October 30, 2021

12:00 PM to 1:00 PM
St. Martin Lutheran Church
100 S. Clinton Ave
Clintonville, WI 54929

Funeral Service
Saturday
October 30, 2021

1:00 PM
St. Martin Lutheran Church
100 S. Clinton Ave
Clintonville, WI 54929

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