As a result of current restrictions on gatherings, we are providing HeartStrings, our online sympathy message where you can upload a photo and write a note or share a memory that will be printed and given to the family. Please click here to send your support.
Donna Mae Alice Schurmeier
March 30, 1930 to October 16, 2020
On October 16, 2020 Donna passed away peacefully in her sleep.
Preceded in death by her mother, Lillian Osterfeld and stepfather, Ben Osterfeld; daughter, Amy Lee Case; and husband, Edward C. Schurmeier.
Survived by her brother, Dale and Jeanette Ratzlaff and their children; Benjamin Ratzlaff, Christopher Ratzlaff and Beth Ann Schorr-Ratzlaff; daughter, Lisa and Jim Gander; grandchildren and great grandchildren, Jennifer and Ben Halvorson their children Mary Kate, Anna Mae, Leah, Elizabeth and Samuel, Bob and Alissa Gander their children Nelson and Ace, Eric and K-lee Gander, David Gander, Cassie Fenstra and her children Trace, Kyler and Ariel; son-in-law, Dale and Solvieg Case; grandchildren and great grandchildren, Andrea Case and her children Jordan and Jalen, Matt and Ketsany Case and their children Kylianna and Destiny.
Donna Mae Alice Ratzlaff was born to Lillian Rechtzigel Ratzlaff and Ewald Ratzlaff in Rosemount, MN.
Rosemount was Donna’s childhood home. As a child she survived a battle with Polio which later in life caused near constant pain. She graduated from Rosemount High School.
As a young woman Donna lived in St Paul worked for Ehbert Coffee Company. Donna was their St Paul Winter Carnival Princess. Edward Schurmeier was her escort for the festivities and they married March 2, 1956.
Donna and Ed lived in Maplewood and then Burnsville in 1960. They were founding members of Prince of Peace Lutheran Church established in Burnsville. Following the birth of two daughters, Lisa in 1956 and Amy in 1960, Donna resumed a career with Marvelous Minnesota as an executive Secretary. In 1971 Donna and Ed purchased Myr Mar Lodge on Mille Lac Lake and lived in Garrison, MN, sharing the task of building a Supper Club and resort. After two years Donna and Ed returned to Burnsville and Donna continued her career at Metcalf Jr. High followed by Burnsville High School as a secretary to the Vice Principal. In 1975 Donna and Ed purchased the Next Door Café in New Richmond, WI. They enjoyed many years in New Richmond working together and building a successful business. Donna was an accomplished chef and loved planning the menu and creating the many daily specials. Donna enjoyed interior design and together with Ed built a lovely custom home of her dreams. Donna loved playing bridge and entertaining. Donna had beautiful gardens and always a beloved dog. During this time of their life Donna and Ed enjoyed traveling. Donna and Ed then purchased a cabin at Balsam Lake. In the late 80’s following the sale of the Café Donna spent time with Amy and Dale at Amy’s Decorator Accessory Shop, she cherished this time with Amy. In the early 90’s Donna and Ed moved to Woodbury. Donna and Ed immediately became an intimate part of the church community at The Grove United Methodist Church. Ed and Amy became ill and Donna tirelessly cared for them until their passing in 2003 and 2004.
The next few years of Donna’s life were spent volunteering at her church, enjoying her friends and card clubs, her nieces and nephews, grandchildren, cooking and reading books fulfilled her vibrant and happy life.
In 2018 Donna had a car accident which led to many unfortunate health issues. Following Donna’s accident and subsequent illnesses and recovery Donna lived off and on with Lisa and Jim in Rochester and their lake home on Lake of the Woods. During this time in her life Donna thoroughly enjoyed the long visits to Norman Island. Lisa and Donna enjoyed countless hours sharing recipes, cooking concepts and watching the cooking channel and of course the nightly tradition of Wheel of Fortune! This time together will forever be special to Lisa.
Donna then sold her home in Woodbury and moved to The Waters of Oakdale. Immediately Donna made new friends of the residents and staff. Donna considered this her home. Lisa wishes to thank The Waters of Oakdale and special friend Katherine Groh for caring so deeply for Donna during the last few years of her life.
No matter what the day brought Donna would end the day with a thank you and “I love you a bushel and a peck and a hug around the neck” followed by “see ya later alligator” and Lisa would reply “after while crocodile”. So that’s how this chapter will end and how her time in heaven will begin.
Private family visitation 2:00 PM with private family funeral 3:00 PM, Friday, October 23, 2020 at The Grove United Methodist Church, 7465 Steepleview Dr, Woodbury, MN, 55125. (For those attending please park in the South lot, enter through Door 1, wear a mask, and practice social distancing while inside the church.) Private family burial 1:00 PM, Tuesday, October 27, 2020 at Fort Snelling National Cemetery, Minneapolis, MN -Assembly Area #3. For those who would like to watch Donna’s service online it will be live streamed on the church website (https://www.thegrovemn.church) under the “Online Worship” tab the day of the service at 3:00 PM. No flowers please, memorials can be directed to the church in Donna’s name for Sunday children’s worship.
While maintaining social distancing guidelines, we are now able to accommodate gatherings while abiding to a 50% capacity at the facility. The use of face masks by attendees is required at indoor events, and we will continue taking the necessary steps to keep your families safe. Expressions of sympathy during this time can be left on the condolences page available on the obituary portion on our website. We also encourage you to complete the HeartStrings online sympathy page with the link above.