Donna Mae Otterness, age 91 of Spring Grove, passed away on Friday, March 31, 2023, at Harmony Place in Harmony, Minn. She was born at home on August 4, 1931, to Odin and Viola Moen (Miner). On July 26, 1947, she married Alfred Otterness Jr and upon his passing in 2002, they had been married for 54 years. She has been a lifelong resident of Spring Grove except for one year, when the family moved to Hanford, Calif., to run a restaurant/motel.
Donna was a woman of faith, and lived a life of service. She was an active member of Faith Lutheran Church of Black Hammer. Over the years, she has made and donated hundreds of quilts. Even during early onset of dementia she was still able to tie a knot.
She was a pioneer in many ways – a business lady who rose through the ranks of Tupperware becoming a manager, and even received a car! She bought and managed the Village House Motel and was the first person to care for her best friend’s son who was stricken with AIDS.
“What do doctors know anyway? If the Good Lord calls me home, that’s His choice.”
She was a founding member of the Past, Present and Future organization in Spring Grove. She was influential in the preservation and renovation of the Ballard House, which today exists as Giants of The Earth. She actively promoted tourism of Spring Grove, selling Syttende Mai buttons, and was instrumental in running the Norwegian Food Stand and was named “Mest Hoyaktet Dame” one year.
She was a good friend, caregiver, loving mother, grandmother and great-grandmother and believed in hard work. Her storytelling was legendary, which taught us to be good listeners.
She is survived by her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren: Gary (Diane); Tracy (Matt) Helgerson, Elle, Claire and Graham; Jode (Dave) Todd, Jackson, Connor, Griffin; Ross; Debra (Randy) Danielson; Adam (Lindsey), Olivia; Paul; Craig; Kipp (Danae), Jens, Finley, Anders; Christopher (Sarah), Hailey, Mack, Emmitt; Kara (Jamie) Kapplinger; Vera, Syneva, Leieta; Kendra (Brad) Hoffman, Tayah, Ashton, Landon, Norah. She is also survived by her twin sisters Beverly Housker and Patty Tweito.
Preceded in death by Alfred Otterness Jr and daughter-in-law Kimberly Flatin, and many sisters and brothers.
Memorial service and luncheon will be held Saturday, April 15 at Faith Lutheran Church of Black Hammer. Friends may call Saturday from 9–11 a.m. at the church. Burial will follow in the church cemetery. Roble Funeral Home of Spring Grove is assisting the family with arrangements.