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OBIT: Donna Waechter

LaDonna Fearyl (Lawrence) Waechter, 86, formerly of Ottosen, Iowa, passed away May 27, 2024 at the Good Samaritan Home in Algona, Iowa.

LaDonna Fearyl (Lawrence) Waechter, 86, formerly of Ottosen, Iowa, passed away May 27, 2024 at the Good Samaritan Home in Algona, Iowa. Mass of Christian Burial will be 10:30 AM Friday, May 31, at Divine Mercy Catholic Parish ~ Sts. Peter and Paul in West Bend. Mass will be livestreamed via Lentz Funeral Home’s website: Visitation will be 4:00 PM – 7:00 PM on Thursday, May 30 at the church with a rosary beginning at 3:45 PM. Services have been entrusted to Lentz Funeral Home of West Bend.

Donna was the first born daughter of Sidney and Rosemary Lucile (Smith) Lawrence on November 6, 1937 in Earlville, Iowa. Her sister, LaVerna (Mickey) Fern, was born 16 months later on March 9, 1939. Her childhood was difficult as she was moved from town to town where her father could find work, first attending Kindergarten in Coffeyville, KS and 11 different primary schools thereafter in Iowa and Minnesota. Her parents were divorced in 1947 and her mother was remarried to Ronald Schaffer in 1953. During her high school years she held various jobs including scrubbing floors and waiting tables at a local cafe, ironing for locals, and was a telephone operator. She received her high school education and graduated in 1955 from Colesburg High School where she was active in plays and musicals and was awarded a music scholarship to Morningside College. Everything changed when she met Verne Waechter at a dance hall in Cedar Rapids and she was literally swept off her feet. They were married October 21, 1956 at Sts. Peter and Paul Catholic Church in West Bend, IA. They danced through their first years of marriage living on various farms near Cylinder, West Bend and Gilmore City where they lovingly welcomed the first four children to their family. They moved to the Ottosen farm in 1962 and were blessed with five more children.

Donna worked hard maintaining a home and tending to 9 children. She raised a large flower and vegetable garden each year. Her delicious homemade cinnamon rolls and pies were often prepared with many pairs of fascinated little eyes watching. She shared her singing talents with her church and the Humboldt Community Chorus, could roller dance, was a 4-H leader and a beautiful seamstress. She co-owned a used clothing store for a time and took up doll collecting. As the children grew more independent she was awarded time to perfect her seamstress skills crafting many beautiful quilts that her children and grandchildren will forever cherish. When Verne’s health started to decline, they moved to Springvale Independent Living in Humboldt in 2017. After his death, Donna’s health also declined and she moved to assisted living and memory care at Windsor Manor in Algona, and thereafter, Good Samaritan for extended care. Donna was honored to be a member of the Calico Country Quilters, American Legion Auxiliary and Catholic Daughters of America.

Donna was everything that defines a kind and loving “wife, mother and grandmother” and her beautiful soul touched many. She devoted her life to her family and they were her universe. Her grandson, Tony, recently summed up her life beautifully, “Nine great kids, millions of delicious meals, hundreds of quilts and a lifetime marriage. What a legacy!” Her children are Steve (Barbie) of Hampton, Sherry (John) Bredehoeft of Emmetsburg, Kevin (Sally) of Castroville, TX, Ken (Mary) of Montezuma, Cathy (Jeff) of Humboldt, Julie Wichtendahl of Olathe, KS, David (Cheri) of Livermore, Lisa (Steve) Thul of Bode and Mary Beth (Jeff) Olson of Humboldt. She was also blessed with 27 grandchildren, 7 step grandchildren, 31 great grandchildren, 13 step great grandchildren, 1 step great great grandchild and another great grandchild on the way. Those gone before her were her husband, Verne, parents, Sidney Lawrence and Rosemary Shaffer, step-father, Ronald Shaffer, an infant brother, David, grandson, Jordan Olson and son-in-law, Jon Osborn.

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