Donna Mae Anderson, age 79, of Delano, retired children’s pastor at Village Evangelical Free Church, and Delano’s 2007 Citizen of the Year, passed away Sept. 3, 2018.
Services will take place Friday, Sept. 14 at 1 p.m. at Village Free Church in Maple Plain.
There will be open visitation Thursday, Sept. 13 at the church, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., followed by a time of sharing memories and songs at 7:30 p.m.
Donna wanted these times to be ones of joy and celebration and requested that people feel free to wear colorful clothing.
She asked that any contributions in her name be made to Love INC - Heartland, PO Box 143, 318 Railroad Avenue, Delano, MN 55328; or the Good Neighbor Fund at Village Evangelical Free Church, 5725 County Road 11, Maple Plain, MN 55359.
Arrangements are with the Iten Funeral Home in Delano.
Donna was born Nov. 6, 1938, in Lake Mills, IA, where she grew up the daughter of Ole and Inez Langfald. She graduated from Lake Mills High school in 1956, and subsequently moved to Minneapolis to work.
Donna married Robert Anderson in 1959, and the couple moved to Delano in 1968, where they owned a sheep farm and became involved in the church and the community.
A woman of strong faith, Donna prayed that she would be able to serve Christ and make a difference in the world. “I wanted to do something significant for God,” she told the Delano Herald Journal in 2007, but as a young woman, she thought that “in order to do something great, you had to be able to speak, sing, play piano, or sew.”
Still, she prayed and trusted that God “could have whatever He saw He could use.” He led her to a life of service to her family, her church, and her community. She took great joy in organizing church musicals and other fun events for children and families, and in helping people through charitable organizations, especially Good Neighbor and Love INC.
Donna organized the AWANA children’s ministry at her church, founded its Good Neighbor program, and helped begin the local chapter of the nationwide Love INC Christian social service organization. She was also a longtime organizer of children’s musicals, family events, and her church’s float for Delano’s Fourth of July parade.
Donna cared for several foster children, one of whom her family adopted, and also served on the advisory board of the county commissioners. In 2007, the General Federated Women’s Club of Delano named her Citizen of the Year.
After being chosen as Citizen of the Year, Donna said: “I love to give. That’s my whole goal in life.”
She is survived by a daughter, Rebecca Anderson-Gregorio and her husband David Gregorio of Milford, CT; a son, Scott Anderson of Plymouth; and daughters Irene Anderson of Delano; and Jessica Farnum and her husband, Trevor Farnum of Maple Grove; her grandchildren Daniel and Elizabeth Gregorio and Ezri, Alia and Freya Farnum; and her brothers Robert and Ronald Langfald of Iowa.
Donna’s husband, Robert Anderson of Delano, passed away in 2005.