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Donna Mae Baldwin, 81

Donna Mae Baldwin, age 81, of Loretto, died Saturday, Sept. 15, 2012.

She was born Aug. 10, 1931, in Long Lake Township, Watonwan County, to John and Hazel (Holland) Bjorkman.

Donna attended country school in Galena Township and in Triumph, MN, graduating from the Tri-Mont High School with the class of 1949. As a young woman Donna worked as a secretary.

She married Warren “Bud’ Baldwin April 4, 1950, in rural St. James. To this union were born three sons and one daughter. Donna and Bud celebrated 59 years of marriage together.

Donna poured her life into raising and spending time with her children. She taught them the art of cooking, baking, crocheting, how to sew buttons on, memorization of their Bible verses, and the way to the Lord.

Donna grew up in a religious home. She attended a church regularly and believed if the good things she did would outweigh the bad things, then someday God would allow her into Heaven.

After Bud was discharged from the Army, the couple moved back to Minnesota. Donna enjoyed her life as a wife, mother, and homemaker. She enjoyed baking, and at Christmas time selling her baked items to purchase Christmas gifts for her children.

However, Donna felt there was something more she should be doing to serve the Lord, and that is when she started her beloved career as a “foster mom” the job she dearly loved for over 50 years. She was blessed with each child who entered her home, and turned many of those children to the Lord. Donna cared for babies in her home until the time of her diagnosis of Merkel Cell Carcinoma.

Donna enjoyed Bible studies, attending church, caring for children, and entertaining guests in her home. She enjoyed being of help to those in need through praying, cooking, baking, sewing, crocheting, and companionship. She had a gentle spirit, a wise mind, and a very calming nature.

Donna was preceded in death by her husband, Warren “Bud” Baldwin; a daughter, Elaine Baldwin; her parents, John and Hazel Bjorkman; and a sister, LaVonne Gaalswyk.

Donna is survived by three sons, David (Cheri) Baldwin of Savage, Randal (Linda) Baldwin of Glendive, MT, and Timothy (Carla) Baldwin of Heber Springs, AR; foster daughter Angeline (Shawn) Arline; foster son Jeff Gaffke; her sister-in-law Marlene (Vic) Coleman of St. James; brother-in-law John Gaalswyk of Owatonna; and several nieces, nephews, and close friends. The Lord blessed Donna with 14 grandchildren; and 14 great-grandchildren.

Funeral Services took place Wednesday, Sept. 19 at 1:30 p.m. at the Jesus People Church in Rogers, with visitation at 12:30 p.m. at the church. Interment was in the Elmwood Cemetery in Rockford.

The Peterson Chapel of St. Michael was entrusted with the funeral arrangements.