Donald “Donnie” Jerome Garness, 76, of Mabel died on Monday, November 15, 2021, at Gundersen Medical Center in La Crosse, Wis.
Donnie was born September 23, 1945, in Spring Grove to Burnell and Berneice (Larson) Garness. He grew up on the family farm in rural Mabel and graduated from the Mabel High School in 1963. On July 24, 1964, he was united in marriage to Joan Peterson. They lived on that same family farm until moving into Mabel in 2015. Donnie hauled milk for many years, starting with canned and later, bulk milk. He also farmed many years with his brother Dale.
He was a member of Mabel First Lutheran Church where he had served on the church council and served on the board for the Mabel Lutheran Cemetery.
Donnie is survived by his wife Joan of Mabel, three children: Rhonda (Art) Schmelzer of Decorah, Iowa, Rachelle Henry of Lincoln, Mo., and Travis (Jodie) Garness of Mabel; grandchildren Nick (Samantha) Hageman, Caitlyn (Jarad) Dotseth, Emma Schmelzer, Tanner Henry, Sawyer Henry, Parker Henry, Nolan Garness, and Livia Garness; great-grandchildren Cannyn, Lorraine, Charlie, and Oliver; brothers and sisters Barbara Vang (Donald) of Pine Island, Ione (Rodney) Newgard and Dale Garness, both of Mabel, Karen (James) Connolly of Port Charlotte, Fla., and Dean Garness of Mabel; and several nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents Burnell and Berneice, father and mother-in-law Jarvis and Lorraine Peterson, an infant son Russell Allen, a brother, Ronald; and a sister-in-law, Jennifer Garness.
Funeral service will be 11 a.m. Monday, November 22 at the Mabel First Lutheran Church in Mabel. Visitation will be 4-7 p.m. Sunday at the Mabel First Lutheran Church and one hour prior to services at the church. The Mengis Funeral Home in Mabel is assisting with arrangements.