Cover photo for Donna Mae Gingras's Obituary
Donna Mae Gingras Profile Photo
1944 Donna 2019

Donna Mae Gingras

November 4, 1944 — July 16, 2019

DONNA MAE GINGRAS was born on November 4, 1944 in Sheldon, Iowa to William Claus Fredrick Reyelts and Hendrika (Scholten) Reyelts. She was the second of six children and grew up on their family farm outside Hull, Iowa. Here she attended a small country school and then graduated “in town” from Boyden Hull High School, Class of 1963. Donna went on to graduate from the Personnel Training Institute in Omaha, Nebraska, on January 30, 1964. This led her to a secretarial position with the United States Navy Department in the Washington D.C. area. It was here through mutual friends, that Donna met and fell in love with a police officer, Joseph Gingras. They were married on November 16, 1968 in Arlington, Virginia and for the next 18 years they would call Arlington home. Shortly after the birth of the first of her four daughters, Donna decided to go from a full time secretary to a full time mom. Her family was her priority! Donna practiced Godly qualities and was known to all as a loving, patient, kind and devoted wife and mother. She always looked for the good in people. She enjoyed day trips with her husband to Harpers Ferry, West Virginia, and trips with her whole family to the Ocean, the New England area and the Midwest to visit family. Donna wore a smile and laughed often! She didn’t care much for coffee, but she loved tea. Her great sense of humor moved her to occasionally play little practical jokes on her family. She took a sewing class and enjoyed it so much that she went on to sew clothes for her girls and their Barbie dolls. She loved to bake cookies, play board games and go on picnics in the back yard creating many fond memories with her children. Donna took much joy surprising her daughters with little presents or cards for no other reason than to show them her love. In 1986 the family moved to Hull, Iowa and in 1988 settled in Rock Rapids, Iowa.

On June 11, 1976, Donna symbolized her personal dedication to God by being baptized as one of Jehovah’s Witnesses. She had been raised with a high regard for the Bible and continued to delight in diligent study of God’s Word. Donna could often be found sitting in her glider rocker studying and meditating on the Bible truths she held so dear. Her faith and devotion to Jehovah were evident in all she did. She applied Bible counsel in all areas of her life and was known for displaying the fruitage of the spirit, being a patient listener, and giving advice based on God’s Word to any who needed it! She especially loved going in the door to door ministry, showing evidence of her love of God and neighbor. She was loved and cherished by all in the Kingdom Halls she attended in North Arlington, Virginia, Sheldon, Iowa, Spencer, Iowa, Sioux Falls, South Dakota and Luverne, Minnesota.

In March 1993 Donna was diagnosed with breast cancer and underwent surgery and chemotherapy. In December 1994, it was discovered that the cancer had metastasized to her brain. She then underwent surgery followed by radiation. Throughout her treatments, she maintained a positive attitude and stayed as busy as she could attending meetings and going in the ministry. Through this she set a beautiful example of faith and endurance for all, especially her daughters! Donna would say that no matter how bad she felt before a meeting, when she left the meeting she would always feel a little bit better. In spite of the doctor’s prognosis of less than a year, she beat those odds by nearly 2 ½ decades! However, the radiation that saved her from cancer eventually caused her to develop dementia in the early 2000’s. The progression was slow and Donna continued for many years to enjoy her family and friends and being active in the Luverne Congregation. Throughout all those years, her loyal, faithful and loving husband, Joe, took great care of her at their home in Rock Rapids. That was truly a blessing! On July 5, 2019, due to complications of end stage dementia, she began receiving care at the Sanford Luverne Hospice Cottage in Luverne Minnesota. She passed away at the facility surrounded by her family on Tuesday, July 16, 2019 at the age of 74 years, 8 months and 12 days.

Donna is lovingly remembered by her husband of 50 years and 8 months, Joe Gingras of Rock Rapids, Iowa; three daughters, Crissy (Kelly) Cowell of Kanaranzi, Minnesota, Kathy (Brooks) Duehn of Luverne, and Michele (Ben) Dressen of Magnolia, Minnesota; 9 grandchildren, Dylan and Cody Cowell, Maddox and Cora Duehn, Autumn, Tyler, Jaden and Ava Dressen, and Adreanna Walter; brother, Loren (Mary Ellen) Reyelts of Hull Iowa; three sisters, Glenda Bryson of Schleswig, Iowa, Lola Hindbjorgen of Hendricks, Minnesota and Marcia (Dennis) Orcuitt of Columbia City, Indiana; brother-in-Law, Kenneth Stueven of George, Iowa; and numerous nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents, William and Hendrika Reyelts; daughter, Cindy Gingras; sister, Karen Stueven; and two brothers-in-law, Paul Hindbjorgen and Charlie Bryson.

To send flowers to the family in memory of Donna Mae Gingras, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Memorial Talk

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Starts at 3:00pm (Central time)

Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses - Luverne

1503 County Highway 4, Luverne, MN 56156

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Starts at 4:00pm (Central time)

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Visits: 1

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the
Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Service map data © OpenStreetMap contributors

Send Flowers

Send Flowers