- February 6, 1935 - July 24, 2011
of Donna's Passing
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Donna Mae (Engen) Houseman died peacefully on Sunday, July 24, at age 76. Donna was born on February 6, 1935, in Chicago, IL. She attended grade school at Kindred, ND, through the 3rd grade and then moved to Fargo with her family. She finished grade school and junior high at Agassiz. As a young girl, Donna enjoyed animals of all kinds, growing up with aunts, uncles and cousins and spending time with her grandparents. She was a very popular babysitter, graduating from Fargo Central High School in 1953; in addition to being a member of the high school choir, she spent some of her high school years working at Bell Telephone, resigning in 1960 to raise her family. She married her high school sweetheart, Jim Houseman on July, 17 1954. This marriage was blessed with four children, Barb (Marv) Haugen of Hutchinson, MN; Jeff (Lori) Houseman of Moorhead, MN; Jim (Deb) Houseman of Hutchinson, MN; and Jason (Paula) Houseman of Plymouth, MN. Jim and Donna started their married life in Fargo, then built a home in Moorhead where they lived for over 52 years. Together, along with their growing family, they spent nearly every summer weekend at their lake cabin on Turtle Lake for the past 45 years. It was at the cabin that Donna demonstrated her skill at turning a meal for 6 into a meal for as many who showed up. She was also skilled at making lefse and made the best potato salad, egg salad sandwiches and strawberry rhubarb jam! She was a devoted wife and mother who made homemaking her career until her youngest son was in grade school. She was an active member of Olivet Lutheran Church until 1968 when she and Jim became members of Our Savior's Lutheran Church in Moorhead. In 1980, she started work at J.C. Penney, where she enjoyed all of the people she worked with. She retired in 1996. Donna had a spirited personality and a wonderful sense of humor. She would stop at any garage sale and would often purchase items only to give them to just the right person. Her favorite days were when her entire family was in the same place at the same time. She was a loving grandmother and was happy to be involved with her grandchildren's activities. Even in her final days she would smile just hearing about the comings and goings of each of them. Donna was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2004 and fought a most courageous battle these past years. She entered into Hospice Care in January and in May, she and Jim moved to Plymouth to live with their youngest son and daughter-in-law. The family wishes to thank Hospice of the Red River Valley, Twin Cities Hospice Program and daughter-in-law, Paula for all their care and support over the past six months. Donna is survived by her husband, Jim; her four children; seven grandchildren, Jake, Peter, Brynn, Katie, Ryan, Ben and Anna. She is also survived by her sisters-in-law, Donna Houseman of Cottage Grove, MN, Marianne Seaburg of Cottage Grove, MN; her aunt, Doris Woznik of Lodi, CA; and her dear friend, Joann Borgen of Fargo, ND; along with many cousins, nieces and nephews, friends and neighbors.She was preceded in death by her mother, Theadora Engen; grandparents, Ted and Clara Engen; brothers-in-law, Frederick "Bud" Houseman and Bill Seaburg; sisters-in-law, Marion Seaburg and Gloria Houseman; her uncle, Joe; aunts, Inger, Esther and Mabel. She is loved dearly and will be missed by many. Blessed be her memory.