Published in the Pine City Pioneer, page 10, Oct. 30, 2003
Donna Jeanne Stephan, 56, died unexpectedly at her Pine City home on Saturday, Oct. 25, 2003.
She was born on March 13, 1947 in Minneapolis, the daughter of Gordon and Phyllis (Swanson) Hass.
She was baptized and confirmed at Zion Lutheran Church in Crown, MN. Donna attended eight years of elementary school at Crown Christian Day School, followed by four years of high school at St. Frances, MN.
After graduation, she lived and worked in Minneapolis, where she met her future husband, Michael Stephan.
Donna and Michael were married on Sept. 2, 1967 and soon moved to Pine City, where Donna was confirmed and joined, the Immaculate Conception Catholic Church. Their marriage was blessed with three children, Branden, Jocelyn and Jamie.
Donna recently took a trip to visit her oldest son, Branden, in Hawaii. She had lots of fun and many pictures to brag about. She was very proud of Branden, and his success. She loved watching him play sports from Mini-Mites on. What a blessing this trip was for them allowing them to spend that time together.
Donna often visited Jocelyn and her husband, Nick, at their house in town. It was on â€œher way home,â€ although it was a few blocks out of her way. She boogied the night away at their wedding, which was still a topic of her conversations. Jocelyn and Donna got to spend this past Friday evening together shopping, which they both loved to do. It was even better when they were together.
Donna was proud of how well her youngest child, Jamie, worked with elderly. She always thought that was what he was meant to do. Jamie picked up some of Donnaâ€™s excellent cooking techniques, which he at times shared with the family.
Donna was a collector of many things. Some of her favorites included Watts pottery, which the kids joked was their college education. Donna and Michaelâ€™s home is filled with antiques, gathered over the years. The house was continuously being rearranged and decorated for the changing seasons. Christmas was Donnaâ€™s specialty.
Her loves in life included church, family, auctions, sports, and more recently, gardening. During football season, it was typical to see Donna kicking her legs and shouting at the television. She would become physically ill and pace the room if the Vikings were losing and would tune in the Minnesota Wild and Gopher hockey games every chance she got. Hockey was her favorite sport, and she never missed one of Brandenâ€™s or Jamieâ€™s games.
Donna enjoyed working for Pine County. She was employed there for many years and made many good friends during that time. She helped many people and touched so many lives while there.
She is survived by her husband, Michael, her children, Branden Stephan, Hawaii; Jocelyn Rydberg and her husband, Nick, and Jamie Stephan, all of Pine City; parents, Gordon and Phyllis Hass, Crown; father-in-law and mother-in-law, John and Dorothy Stephan, Pine City; sisters, Carol Bray, and her husband, Leon, and Joni Sundeen and her husband, Ron, all of Crown, brothers, Rick Hass and his wife, Nancy, Larry Hass and his wife, Mary, all of Crown, Butch Hass and his wife, Mary, of Zimmerman, sisters-in-law and brothers-in-law, Paul and Lois Stephan, Beroun, Greg and Kathy Stephan, Pine City, Mike and Anita Bernick, Park Rapids, and Robin Stephan, Lindstrom, many nieces, nephews and friends.
Mass of Christian Burial was at 10:30 a.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 29 at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Pine City. Father Michael J. Lyons officiated, along with Deacon Gene Biever.
Casketbearers were Patrick Stephan, David Nicoll, Vincent Stephan, Brent Sundeen, Andy Hass, John Hass and Tyler Hass.
Burial was at Calvary Catholic Cemetery in Pine City.