Donna Jean, the daughter of Ray and Florence (Hult) Frinkman, was born in Centerville, S.D., May 7, 1926. She graduated from Correctionville High School in 1943, and furthered her education at the Lutheran School of Nursing in Sioux City. Donna fulfilled her duties as a registered nurse and a dedicated caregiver for numerous years. Prior to her retirement, she was employed as a Woodbury County Public Health nurse.
On June 24, 1947, in Yakima, Wash., Donna Jean was united in marriage to Robert Earl Bahrke. The couple moved to Pierson in 1955, where Robert secured a teaching position, and Donna continued the busy task of raising their growing family. The couple was blessed with six children.
Donna Jean was a devoted member of the Christian Church in Pierson, where she offered numerous hours as an elder, deaconess, and a Sunday school teacher. She was a 65-year, life-member of the American Legion Auxiliary, and a member of the Pierson Women's Club.
In her earlier years, Donna Jean enjoyed sewing and writing poetry. She was an avid supporter of her children's and grandchildren's community and school activities.
To those who have shared in her life, Donna is remembered as a giving, encouraging, and thoughtful woman.
Donna Jean is survived by her children, Marsha (Tom) Ray of Kingsley, Ken (Joyce) Bahrke of Panora, Pat (James) Paulette of Angleton, Texas, Karl (Julie) Bahrke of Kingsley, Barb (Donovan) Hansen of Smithland, and Bev (Clyde) Christiansen of Storm Lake; her sister-in-law, Linda Goolsby of Bullhead, Ariz.; her grandchildren and their families, Mike (Devi) Ray and Colby Nepper and Landon Ray, Matt (Becky) Ray and Allyson, Anna, Adria, and Amelia Ray, Mindy (Cory) Dunne and Camryn, Hayden, and Liam Dunne, Kari (Alex) Ranniger, Kelly (Drew) Zuehlke, Jana (Brian) Surratt, Chad (Amy) Timmins and Claire, Abigail and Ian Timmins, Garth (Cyndi) Timmins and Lanie and Joe Gigliotti and Jason Timmins, Scott (Lyndsay) Bahrke and Payge and Olyvia Bahrke, Renae Bahrke, Kyle (Camilla) Bahrke, Laura (Matt) Miller, Jeremy Hansen, Heath Hansen, Melissa (Eric) Kloss, and Dan Christiansen; and her numerous other relatives and friends.
Preceding Donna Jean in death were her husband, Robert E. "Rip" Bahrke in November 2007; her parents, Ray and Florence Frinkman, and her brother, Charles Ray Frinkman.
Funeral services will be 11 a.m. Friday at the Christian Church in Pierson, with the Rev. Kay Galm officiating. Burial will follow at 3 p.m. in the Komstad Cemetery, rural Beresford, S.D.
Visitation will begin at 2 p.m. today (Thursday) at the Johnson-Earnest Funeral Home in Kingsley. The family will be present to greet relatives and friends from 5-7 p.m. The visitation will continue at the Christian Church in Pierson, one hour prior to Donna's service on Friday.
Thoughts, stories and condolences may be directed to the family on the www.mauerjohnsonfh.com website.