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Donna M. Kuehnle All Obituaries


Donna M. Kuehnle, of Mechanicsville, died Wednesday, Sept. 16, 2020. Graveside Celebration of Life service will be 10 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 26, at Rose Hill Cemetery Mechanicsville. The family has requested everyone in attendance to wear a mask and practice social distancing. Cedar Memorial Park Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.
Donna was born Aug. 16, 1929, to Mark and Marie (Coleman) Orndorff in New London, Iowa. She attended New London schools and graduated from Iowa State University with a home economics degree. After graduation, she moved to Elgin, Ill., and taught home ec.
Donna met John (Jack) Kuehnle at a softball game. Jack was pitching and Donna's brother was catching. Introductions were made and courting began. They married Dec. 19, 1954, in the rectory of Trinity Catholic Church in Dubuque. She was a Protestant marrying a Catholic; somehow, they made it work. They started their married life in Puerto Rico, where he was stationed in the U.S. Army and she taught.
After Jack was discharged from the Army, they settled in Mechanicsville, where Donna immersed herself into the community while raising their family: John (Michele), Mark (Julie), Anne (Joe), Sara (Joe) and Jane (Ken), plus their foreign exchange student, Belen. Like all grandparents she loved her grandchildren: Joel (Jackie), Francis (Kai), Paul, Ellen, Jill (Joe), Erik, Alison (Jessie) and Ian. Step-grandchildren: Tony (Laura), Dan (Rachel), Rachael (Joel) and Heather (Trent). She enjoyed seeing the addition of her great-grandchildren, Benjamin, Greyson and Leah, to the family.
She is survived by sister, Shirley Lange; sisters-in-law, LouAnn Kress and Lois Orndorff; and brother-in-law, Bill Frommelt.
She was predeceased by her husband; infant daughter, Lora; brother, Ron Orndorff; grandchildren, James, Emma and Kayla; brothers-in-law, Cecil Lange and Tom Kress; and sister-in-law, Kay Frommelt.
Our mother was fiercely independent. She spent much of her time stating "I can do that" or "I'm not helpless." It was her independence that kept her moving. She was tough and didn't complain. She led by example by being involved in various activities in Mechanicsville: Camp Fire Leader, TTF, Garden Club, Trees Forever, Red Hat Society. She enjoyed reading and belonged to the Library Book Club. She was very active in the First Presbyterian Church and prepared funeral meals for many years, fondly referred to as "cooking for the dead" by our father. She was the first woman elected to the school board for Lincoln Community School District. She championed education for all children in their home districts. She was not a dog lover, which perhaps is why four of her five children have dogs.
She loved sports, especially the Hawkeyes. She attended Hawkeye sports for over 50 years, and if she wasn't at the stadium/fieldhouse she was watching it on TV. She and Jack were able to travel including trips overseas, they belonged to a bridge club and enjoyed time being with their family and friends.
Contributions may be made in Donna's memory to First Presbyterian Church, Cedar County Senior Dining or Mechanicsville Public Library.
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