We lost a beautiful person on Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2018, in Wasilla, Alaska. At 92, Donna Mae Martinson enjoyed a long and full life. She was the widow of Allan “Bud” Martinson, who passed away in December 2000 after 52 years of marriage. She and Bud raised three daughters and she was a wonderful grandmother to her eight grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.
Donna was born Aug. 8, 1926, in Westbrook, Minn., on her aunt’s farm. She was the oldest of the three children of Emil and Bernice Thorsness. She attended school in Walnut Grove, including the one-room schoolhouse made famous by the “Little House on the Prairie” books. After graduating from high school, she attended beauty school in Mankato before traveling to San Diego, Calif., to work as a beautician while staying with friends. She very much enjoyed her stay in San Diego, but later returned home to Minnesota and married Bud in 1948.
Donna has said that one of her greatest joys was the birth of her daughters, Amy, Mary and Anne. While raising her daughters, Donna was also busy running her own beauty salon. In 1961, the family moved from Minnesota to Oregon. Donna worked for a short time packing fruit, and then worked in Odell as a hairdresser. In 1966, she opened her own beauty salon, which she and Bud added on to the house so she could work at home. In her later years, Donna moved to Alaska to be closer to family. She enjoyed making new friends and spending as much time as possible with the five great-grandchildren who lived nearby.
Donna was an active member of Our Redeemer Lutheran Church, taught 4-H and baked constantly. She was known for her famous homemade bread, cinnamon rolls and lefse. She was always there to lend a helping hand to her friends, and on most Sundays, there was company for supper. So many people remember sharing meals together at her dining room table. She was also an accomplished seamstress who sewed most of her girls’ clothes, as well as many of her grandchildren’s. Each one of her grandchildren has always been convinced they were her favorite. And each one of them is right.
Donna was preceded in death by her husband, Bud; her brothers, John and Leo Thorsness; and her beloved granddaughter, Mandy Trembly. She is survived by Amy and Gary Trembly of Casa Grande, Ariz.; Mary and Don Scheie of Wasilla, Alaska; and Anne Guevremont of Colebrook, N.H.
She is also survived by grandchildren: Jessica Brooks and her husband, Chris, and son, Raiden; Heidi Scheie and son, Ben; Shelly Scheie-Slottee and her husband, Chris Slottee, and their four children, Isaac, Aaden, Ellie and Maya; Adam Kahler and daughter, Alahna; Katie Anderson and Regan Toomey; Trent Guevremont and Devin Guevremont; and her many nieces and nephews.
Donna will best be remembered for her zest for life, her everlasting friendships and her devotion to her family, faith and country.
A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 29 at Our Redeemer Lutheran Church, 1140 Tucker Road, Hood River.
Arrangements are under the direction of Anderson’s Tribute Center (Funerals • Receptions • Cremations), 1401 Belmont Ave., Hood River, Ore. Visit www.AndersonsTributeCenter.com to leave a note of condolence for the family.
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