MENOMONIE — Donna A. Ishii, 85, of Menomonie passed away at home Monday, Feb. 5, 2018, after a courageous battle with cancer.

She was born Dec. 11, 1932, in Wilson Township, Dunn Co. Wis. to Otto Mickelson and Anna (Anderson). She grew up in the Wheeler area and graduated in three years from Colfax High School in 1949.

Donna waitressed at her sister’s restaurant “The Three Sisters” in Menomonie where she developed her love for cooking and met her future husband. She married Hanrouku “Hank” Ishii Oct. 11, 1952, at Our Saviors Lutheran Church in Menomonie. She graduated from the Dunn County Normal Teacher’s College in 1955 and got her degree from Eau Claire University.

After graduating from Normal she started her career teaching in an eight grade one room school house. She taught elementary school in Baldwin and Menomonie until she turned her devotion to raising her son and her family life.

After raising their son, Donna and Hank purchased a jewelry store in West Saint Paul, Minn. in 1981. She was the bookkeeper and would bring “home cooked” lunches to the staff weekly and always a special lunch and cake on everyone’s birthday. It was her special gift to make birthdays, holidays or any occasion special through food and decoration. She was also known by staff, friends and family for her contagious fits of laughter as attested by a sign in her kitchen “I laughed so hard—tears ran down my leg.”

Donna is survived by a son, Craig (Catherine) Ishii of South Saint Paul; one grandson, Kyle; one great-granddaughter, Joie; one sister, Joan (Richard) Albricht; nieces and nephews, and other relatives and friends. Donna was preceded in death by her parents, Otto and Anna; three brothers, Juel, Elmer and Merlin; and seven sisters, Pauline, Palma, Valborg, Borghild, Alice, Margarette, and Shirley.

Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. Thursday, Feb. 15, at New Life Lutheran Church in Menomonie with Pastor Roy Harrisville III officiating. There will be visitation at the church one hour prior to the service. Burial will be in Evergreen Cemetery in Menomonie. Olson Funeral Home in Menomonie is serving the family.

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