Donna Lou Speer Nalewaja, of Fargo, ND, Osakis, MN and Tucson, AZ passed away on September 30, 2021 from Covid-19 at the age of 81. Donna was born (a twin) in Winterset, IA on October 8, 1939. Graduated in 1960 from the University of Minnesota.
December 26, 1959, married John D. Nalewaja. After completing his Ph.D. in 1962, they moved to Fargo, ND where John was a Professor at NDSU and they raised four children. In 1974, she sold real estate for the next 25 years. She served in the ND House of Representatives from 1982 - 86. In 1986, Donna was elected to the ND State Senate where she served on many state and national committees until her retirement in 1998. Throughout her 16 year political career, Donna received many awards and recognition for her outstanding service.
Donna and John spent summers at their Lake Osakis cottage and enjoyed the Nalewaja farm near Browerville, MN. She became a licensed substitute school teacher in Osakis. She was a dealer in the Antiques Osakis shop for 25 years. Donna enjoyed antiquing, painting, reading and visits from family and friends.
Preceding Donna in death were her parents, her twin brother David Speer, sister Dorothy Speer Burg and her beloved husband of 54 years, Dr. John D. Nalewaja.
She is survived by her special friend and companion Dr. Clarence Samual, Fargo, ND and Tucson, AZ, her children Dr. Stephen Nalewaja (Jill) of Miles City, MT, Susan Van Voorhis (Tom) of Brooklyn Park, MN, Gregory Nalewaja of York, SC and Anne Nalewaja (Steve Ruebke) of Twin Valley, MN; and eleven grandchildren Stephanie Franco (Dr. Domingo), Theresa Brewer (Jordan), Robert Nalewaja and Catherine Comis (Peter), AJ (Haley) and Derek Van Voorhis, Noah, Sidney, Landon, Caden and Alanah Nalewaja, brother-in-law Richard Burg, Osakis, MN and sister-in-law Donna Speer, Blencoe, IA and many nieces and nephews.
A Mass of Christian Burial will take place on Saturday, October 9, 2021 at the Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Osakis, MN at 11:00 AM. Visitation will take place one hour prior to mass at the church. Burial will follow a social time after mass at the Christ the King Catholic Cemetery in Browerville, MN.
In lieu of flowers, memorials are preferred to John D. and Donna Nalewaja Plant Science Scholarship Fund, NDSU Foundation, PO Box 5144, Fargo, ND 58105.
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