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Donna Marie Haakenson

May 5, 1938 March 12, 2019
Donna Marie Haakenson
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Obituary for Donna Marie Haakenson

Donna Marie (Gardner) Haakenson, 80, Evansville, WI, passed away peacefully with her family by her side at St. Mary’s Hospital in Madison, WI on Tuesday, March 12, 2019 after suffering complications from a stroke.

Donna, the oldest of three children, was born to William Ambrose and Pearl (Radakovich) Gardner in Ironwood, Michigan on May 5, 1938. She grew up in Wisconsin Rapids, WI and graduated from Lincoln High School there in 1956.

Donna earned a B.S. degree in Music and Secondary Education (1961) as well as a M.S. degree in Music Education (1973) from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point. Donna passionately taught music in K-12 schools in Iola-Scandinavia, Portage, Edgerton, Madison, Stoughton and Evansville over her 50-year teaching career. She also taught private piano lessons for almost 40 years, including the 19 students on her roster this last year, teaching up until just three days before she fell ill. Donna led countless musical performances in her career including musicals, concerts, and piano recitals, and helped hundreds of students prepare for individual performances and competitions.

Donna also directed vocal choirs, serving as the Choir Director of the Cooksville Lutheran Church in Evansville, WI for 36 years, as well as teaching Sunday School music there. Donna co-directed the Evansville Ecumenical Choir for 36 years. She also served on the Evansville Community School District Board of Education for 19 years.

Donna married Paul Benjamin Haakenson in 1973. Together they raised two children, and owned and operated a dairy farm in the rolling hills of rural Evansville, WI. She enjoyed cooking, baking, sewing, photography, reading and gardening. However, Donna’s two greatest passions in her life to the very end were spreading her love and appreciation of music and loving on her family, especially her grandchildren.

Donna is survived by her husband, Paul, children Peter (Kelly) Haakenson (Dodgeville), Kristin (Troy) Klarkowski (Tucson, AZ), grandchildren Benjamin, Jacob and Natalie Haakenson, Annaliese and Everett Klarkowski, sister Polly (James) Garbe (Stevens Point), brother William (Barb) Gardner (Wisconsin Rapids), sister-in-law Kathryn Gerstenkorn (Portage), and several nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents, brother-in-law Russell Gerstenkorn, and beloved grandson Miles Haakenson.

Her family wishes to express their sincere gratitude to the expert medical and support services staff at St. Mary’s Hospital ICU and 7SW, and to Dr. Meetul Shah for his exemplary and compassionate medical care over the years.

A memorial service will be held at 11:00AM on Tuesday March 19, 2019 at Cooksville Lutheran Church with Reverend Karla Brekke officiating. Burial will follow in Cooksville Cemetery. A visitation will be held from 4:00PM to 8:00PM on Monday March 18, 2019 at Ward-Hurtley Funeral Home Evansville and from 10:00AM until the time of service on Tuesday at church.

In lieu of flowers, the family encourages memorials that will be designated in Donna’s honor at a later date.

“Music washes away from the soul, the dust of everyday life.” ~ Bertold Auerbach


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Previous Events

Visitation

Monday

18

Mar

4:00 PM 3/18/2019 4:00:00 PM - 8:00 PM 3/18/2019 8:00:00 PM
Ward-Hurtley Funeral Home

130 S 5th St
Evansville, WI 53536

Ward-Hurtley Funeral Home
130 S 5th St Evansville 53536 WI
United States

Visitation

Tuesday

19

Mar

10:00 AM 3/19/2019 10:00:00 AM - 11:00 AM 3/19/2019 11:00:00 AM
Cooksville Lutheran Church

11927
Cooksville, WI 53536

Cooksville Lutheran Church
11927 Cooksville 53536 WI
United States

Service

Tuesday

19

Mar

11:00 AM 3/19/2019 11:00:00 AM
Cooksville Lutheran Church

11927
Cooksville, WI 53536

Cooksville Lutheran Church
11927 Cooksville 53536 WI
United States

Cemetery Details

Location

Cooksville Cemetery Final Resting Place

11927
Cooksville, WI 53536

11927 Cooksville 53536 WI
United States
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