Donna Rae Larson, 90


, the green-thumbed, sweet-toothed whirlwind known for her strength, sass, and unmatched sugar cookies, passed away on January 7, 2024, surrounded by her family.

Born in Oakland, Nebraska, on November 22, 1933, to Elmer Lester and Mattie Marie Rickert, Donna kept everyone on their toes for the past 90 years.

Family was the cornerstone of her life.

In 1954, she married Gerald William Larson, embarking on a 60-year adventure filled with humor, love, and DQ soft serve. Donna’s pride and joy were her daughters Joan and Cindy, who grew up nourished by her fierce devotion, her generous cooking, and her unyielding spirit. Donna was always there to cheer on her children and guide them through life's challenges with a firm hand and a warm heart.

Over the years, her sphere expanded to include an additional four grandchildren and ten great-grandchildren. All the while, Donna’s home in Uehling, Nebraska was the undisputed epicenter of holiday life, tying the family together for decades.

Never one to sit still or sleep in, Donna was active in the Oakland and Uehling communities for most of her life. She was a Girl Scout troop leader, an avid gardener, and a longtime member of the First Evangelical Lutheran Church of Oakland. In addition to her years as a farmer’s wife, she worked at the Oakland gas company, the Blue Moon Cafe, and the Logan View High School Cafeteria. She deeply cherished the lifelong friendships formed along the way.

Donna was preceded in death by her husband, Gerald; her parents; her sister, Nancy Wallerstedt; and infant sister, Betty; brothers-in-law: Harry Larson, Richard Larson, Emery Johnson, Robert Davis, and Rodney Nelson; and sisters-in-law: Jean Larson, Vernell Larson, and Mary Johnson.  

In her final years, Donna’s tireless spirit was finally tamed by a stray cat that adopted her, simply named Kitty.

Survivors include her daughters and sons-in-law: Joan and Dave Bixler of Eden Prairie, MN, Cindy and Dan Christensen of Austin, TX; sister, Deb (Jon) Radebaugh of Omaha, NE; brother-in-law, Norman Wallerstedt of Oakland, NE; sisters-in-law: Marge Davis of Indianapolis, IN, Mable Nelson of Sidney, NE; grandchildren: Peter (Pam) Christensen, Carrie (Ryan) Jackson, Trent (Corrinne) Grover, and Amber (Mike) Trapp; and ten great-grandchildren: Tanner, Cameron, and Ava Jackson, Hannah, and Emma Christensen, Cillian and Malcolm Grover, and Griffin, Olivia, and Abigail Trapp.

In lieu of flowers, donor’s choice; Donna would probably tell you to plant a petunia or bake some cookies. Better yet, indulge in a Hershey kiss or a slice of pie and remember the sweet, vibrant spirit of Donna Larson. She will be dearly missed.

FUNERAL SERVICE: Friday, January 12, 2024, 10:30 am at First Evangelical Lutheran Church in Oakland

VISITATION: Thursday, 5-7 pm at First Evangelical Lutheran Church in Oakland

BURIAL: Argo Cemetery, rural Hooper, NE