Donna M. Joens

Feb 24, 2018
Joens_Donna news


11:00 a.m., Friday, March 2, 2018 at Our Savior's Lutheran Church, 420 Harwood, Waterloo


4:00 to 7:00 PM, Thursday, March 1, 2018 at Locke Funeral Home, 1519 West 4th St., Waterloo


Garden of Memories Cemetery, Waterloo, Iowa


Our Savior's Lutheran Church's Music Dept., Nation Cottage of The Western Home Communities, or UnityPoint Hospice


Donna Joens, 81, of Cedar Falls, formerly of Waterloo, died at Nation Cottage of the Western Home Communities on Saturday, February 24, 2018. Donna Mae (Olk) Joens was born on July 8, 1936 in Franklin County, Iowa, daughter of Dagmar (Kibsgaard) and Ike Olk. She was the second child of six children: Norman (Eleanor) Olk, Deloris (Harold) Meyer, Larry (Emma) Olk, Iva (Stan) Griep, and Barb (Jim) Long. She graduated from Sheffield High School and went to attend Allen School of Nursing graduating in 1957.


While attending Allen, a classmate set up a blind date for Donna with David Dean Joens. They were married on April 20, 1958 in Sheffield. The young couple soon welcomed their three daughters (the Joens girls), Jacquelyne “Jackie” Joens of West Des Moines, Julie (Tom) Marsch of Hudson, and Jodi (Ralph) Torres of Orange County, Calif.


In 1985, Donna and David entered the wonderful adventure of being grandparents to: Bradley Abraham, Stephanie (Jerry) Gorman, Steven (Kelsey) Abraham, Jenny (Jeff) Redenius, Zachary Torres and Jillian Torres. In 2017, the couple excitedly became great-grandparents to Samuel Redenius and Jace Gorman. These additions to her family were some of Donna’s greatest sources of joy.


Donna worked as a nurse for Dr. Vernon Plager for 30 years. She then worked a year for Black Hawk Lutheran Ministries. She finished her career with 6 years at the Western Home Communities as the Director of Home Care, retiring in 1994.


Donna enjoyed many hobbies during her life. She was a talented seamstress and also enjoyed crocheting and doing counted cross stitch. She was an avid reader and loved playing cards. One of her greatest passions was music. She played the organ and piano for church and life celebrations. But, her favorite pastime was ballroom dancing with her lifetime dance partner, David.


For the final dozen years of her life, Donna gracefully fought the terrible disease Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus. It robbed her of her ability to dance, walk, play the piano, read, crochet and all that kept her busy for so much of her life.


In spite of all the loss she experienced, her greatest passion remained – her faith and love of Jesus. Donna, a true woman of beauty, gracefully handled all that she endured with her devoted husband by her side and together they loved the Lord with whom she now celebrates healing and renewal.


Donna was preceded in death by her parents, Ike and Dagmar Olk; her sister, Deloris Meyer; her brother, Norman Olk; her in-laws, Elmer and Leona Joens; and her brother-in-law, Larry Joens.

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  1. Cathy Reece | Feb 28, 2018

    Jackie, Julie and Jodi, and family- I am so sorry for your loss, you are all in my thoughts and prayers. 

    I have sweet memories from when we were kids. Your Mom and Dad were both such gracious hosts...for many sleepovers. The video is a beautiful tribute to your Mom, and wow, you all have such beautiful families!

    My Mother-in-law is in Thalman Square and my father-in-law is in unassisted living at the Western Home. This is a tough journey, but so heartwarming for you all that your Mom had Jesus by her side. May God continue to give you strength.

    "Now may our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal comfort and a wonderful hope, comfort you and strengthen you in every good thing you do and say." (2 Thessalonians 2:16–17, NLT)

    My warmest condolences,

    Cathy Curl Reece

    Jackie- our daughter Brittany lives in West Des Moines and we have visited Hope Lutheran with her. She is 27 and very active with Revive.  What an amazing church and pastor! I listen to Mike's sermons regularly. I think I may have seen you once when we were there, but it is a huge church! Brittany said she has heard you sing, I said I have too! :)

  2. Avis Handorf | Feb 27, 2018
    I worked wirh Donna at The Western Home. I have such fond memories of her. She was such a kind and thoughtful woman.  I am so very sorry for your loss. 
  3. Michele Van Horn Bjorkgren | Feb 26, 2018

    Jodi and family, you are a part of my history - a forever imprint on my heart. Donna and David always welcomed me into their home - thank you for sharing Jodi with me as my forever friend.  Love to you all.

    Michele Bjorkgren

  4. Angie | Feb 26, 2018
    Tony and I are thinking of you and praying for peace for your entire family! 

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