Donna Helgens

Donna Helgens

Donna Helgens


Donna Helgens, 93, died Friday, June 30, 2023, at the Veterans Memorial Hospital, in Waukon, Iowa, with her family gathered by her side.

Funeral services will be held 10:30 a.m. Friday, July 7, 2023, at S.S. Peter and Paul Lutheran Church, rural Monticello, with interment in the Wayne Zion Cemetery. Friends may call from 4 until 7 p.m. Thursday at the Goettsch Funeral Home, Monticello. Pastor Holly Knouse will officiate at the services. By visiting you may share your thoughts, memories and condolences with Donna’s family and sign the online guest book.

Surviving are her three children, Karen Helgens, Jane (Bill) Collins and Kent (Kelly) Helgens; six granddaughters, Cara (Andrew) Howell, Nicole (John Chambers) Collins, Alyssa (Bhargav Kalyanam) Collins, Melissa Motley, Katie Helgens and Taylor (Justin) Sieverding; eight great-grandchildren; her brother, Curt Brenneman; and a sister-in-law, Dorothy Ketelsen. She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband; a son, Bruce; her twin sister, Jeannie; a sister, Darlene; and in-laws, Sue, Harold, Maurice and Leo.

Donna Marie Brenneman was born March 4, 1930, near Kalona at her family home. She was the daughter of Maynard and Bertha Reber, Brenneman. Donna graduated from Iowa Mennonite High School in 1949. She started working at the U of I Hospital as a nursing assistant during the polio epidemic. She continued her education and became an LPN and worked at the U of I Hospital until she got married.

Donna married Clifford Helgens on June 6, 1959, at Iowa City, Iowa. The couple farmed near Monticello and Donna worked at John McDonald Hospital in Monticello. In later years she worked at Walmart in Anamosa and Sunset Nursery in Monticello.

Donna was active all her life. She was a Sunday school teacher and a member of the Quilting Group at Wayne Zion, a 4-H leader for the Wayne Willing Workers. She was a member of the Federated Garden Club, a founding member of Riverside Gardens in 1988 and served on the board for many years. She helped found the Dubuque Area Hosta Society and the Cedar Valley Iris and Day Lilly Society. She was an avid Iowa women’s basketball fan, having had season tickets for many years. She helped her daughter, Jane, weed the garden just days before going to the hospital. Her strength and personality will be missed by all who knew her.

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