Donalee Cecelia LeClair was born April 21, 1930, at Hartley, the daughter of Lawrence and Ricka (Henning) LeClair. Donalee attended and graduated from Moneta High School.
Donalee was united in marriage to Bill O'Brien Sept. 1, 1948, at Royal. The couple farmed in the Royal and Hartley area for many years. She had worked for eight years at Spencer Foods.
She moved to Le Mars in 1977. Donalee worked for 18 years at Westmar College. She moved to Friendship Village in Waterloo, Iowa in April 2007.
She was a devoted mother to her nine children, meeting their needs and caring for them.
Donalee's devotion to her faith and her devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary was and was a beautiful example to many.
Donalee was a longtime member of St. James Catholic Church in Le Mars where she belonged to the Alter Society, Confraternity of Christian Mothers, Peer Advisory, Meals on Wheels, Hospitality Committee, and the Quilting Club. She also enjoyed volunteering at Floyd Valley Hospital, where she belonged to the Auxiliary. She enjoyed visiting shut-ins and was happy to assist in anyway possible.
Donalee was honored as the Le Mars Volunteer of the Year.
Donalee also enjoyed time with friends, from weekly water aerobics to attending community plays and events.
Survivors include her nine children: Kathleen O'Brien and her husband Bruce Mosby of Phoenix, Ariz., Christine Sauer and her husband Larry of Ankeny, Kelly O'Brien and his wife Mary of Sanborn, Tim O'Brien and his wife Julie of Aurora, Colo., Mary Fairchild and her husband Mark of Greenville, John O'Brien and his wife Wendy of Johnstown, Colo., Tom O'Brien of Denver, Colo., Joe O'Brien and his wife Donna of Waterloo, and Theresa O'Brien-King and her husband Ron King of Centennial, Colo.; 15 grandchildren and eight great grandchildren; a brother-in-law, Bill Wankum of Sioux City; and several nieces and nephews.
She was preceded in death by her parents, Lawrence and Ricka (Henning) LeClair; and a sister, Diane Wankum.
Mass of Christian Burial will be at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday at St. James Catholic Church in Le Mars with the Rev. Richard Ries officiating. Inurnment will be at a later date at Spencer. Visitation with the family present will be after 5 p.m. today (Monday) at St. James Catholic Church. There will be a 5 p.m. parish rosary followed by a 7 p.m. Scriptural wake service. Arrangements are with the Carlsen Funeral Home of Le Mars.
Pallbearers will be all of her grandchildren and honorary pallbearers will be all of her great-grandchildren.
Expressions of sympathy can be extended to the family through www.carlsenfuneralhome.com.