Donna Graber, age 81, of Wall Lake, IA, passed away on Sunday, November 18, 2018, at Twilight Acres in Wall Lake, IA. Donna Mae Graber was born on February 11, 1937, to Herman and Martha (Wenck) Buse in Ulmer, IA. Donna was baptized on March 16, 1937, and confirmed her faith at Ulmer Peace Lutheran Church on May 27, 1951. She first attended country school in rural Ulmer, and then graduated from Auburn High School in 1955. Soon after graduation, Donna moved to Sac City where she was employed as a nurses’ aid at Loring Hospital. It was during this time that she met and married the love of her life, Delbert Graber on January 27th, 1957. This union was blessed with seven children: Karen, Sandy, Barbara, Marlene, Steve, Larry and Jerry.
Donna and Delbert started farming near Wall Lake but after several years moved to a farm near Auburn, and eventually settled on a hog farm west of Ulmer. Early on in their marriage, Donna spent much of her time helping Delbert milk cows and do farm chores, all while cooking, cleaning and raising the girls. She enjoyed helping others so eventually continued her work as a nurses’ aid at Twilight Acres in Wall Lake. Donna also enjoyed working the scale in the fall at the coop in Ulmer. She eventually continued her nurses’ aid career at Shady Oaks in Lake City where she worked until her retirement. Donna and Delbert enjoyed going out to eat with friends and attending dances at the Lakewood Ballroom. Donna loved to bake and spent almost every Saturday making pies for the family. She also made sure the kids had some home baked goodies every day after school, and in her later years enjoyed baking sweet treats for the grandkids. She enjoyed cooking, gardening, flowers, card club and gambling on the penny slots. Donna cherished her family and very much looked forward to hosting all the kids and grandkids for holidays, birthdays, and other celebrations. Nothing made her happier than when the whole family would squeeze into her home to celebrate. She was a wonderful wife, mother, grandmother, sister, aunt and friend and will be clearly missed by those who knew and loved her.
Left to cherish Donna’s memory are her children: daughters Karen (Gary) Siebrecht of Odebolt, IA, Sandy (Gregg) Schmitz of Wall Lake, IA, Barbara (Dan) Stickrod of Odebolt, IA, Marlene (Dan) Steinkamp of Wall Lake, IA; sons Steve (Nancy) Graber of Westside, IA, Larry (Kelly) Graber of Breda, IA, Jerry (Amy) Graber of Treynor, IA; twenty five grandchildren: Eric (Kaylee) Siebrecht, Nathan (Amy) Siebrecht, Lee (Sena Brotherson) Siebrecht, Matt (April) Schmitz, Brad (Ali) Schmitz, Megan (Thomas) Heidenreich, Brian (Veronica) Stickrod, Brenda (Jamie) Schoneboom, Jennifer Stickrod, Brent Stickrod, Jason (Jenny) Steinkamp, Ashley (Chase) Wicker, Katie, Christine, and Amanda Steinkamp, Kaylynn Graber, Grayce, Grayden, Gavyn, and Greeley Graber, Austin, Cameron, and Brandon (fiancé Diana) Graber; 30 great-grandchildren; brothers-in-law: Richard Graber and wife Betty and Reas Graber and wife Nancy; many extended family members and friends.
Donna was preceded in death by her husband Delbert; parents Herman and Martha Buse; brother Luverne Buse and wife Della, sister Maxine Kies and husband Raymond; in laws Elmer and Nettie Graber; and grandchildren Clint Siebrecht and Stephen Graber.