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Donna Joan (Almelien) Ball

June 18, 1934 ~ January 24, 2018 (age 83)

Memorial services for Donna Joan (Almelien) Ball, age 83, of Albert Lea, will be held at 10:00 a.m. on Monday, January 29, 2018 at Grace Lutheran Church.  Rev. Shane Koepke will officiate. Interment will be at Lakewood Cemetery.  Visitation will be 2:00-5:00 p.m. on Sunday, January 28 at Bayview/Freeborn Funeral Home and one hour prior to the service at the church on Monday. Online condolences are welcome at

Donna was called home by her heavenly Father on Wednesday, January 24, 2018 at St. Mary's in Rochester following a brief illness.

Her life was truly blessed. She was born to Ole and Bernice (Hagen) Almelien on June 18, 1934 in Lake Mills and in 1952 graduated from Lake Mills High School. Donna attended and graduated from the Iowa State Teachers College (now University of Northern Iowa) in 1954. She taught several years as an elementary teacher in Hartley, Thompson, and Lake Mills, IA.

It was in high school where she met her one and only love, her beloved husband, Donald Lee Ball. After Don returned from serving his country in Korea, the couple was married at Salem Lutheran Church in Lake Mills on July 31, 1955. To this union six boys were born. She enjoyed so much in life, especially her family. She loved family camping trips, watching her sons and grandchildren participate in the many sporting activities and spending many holidays and events with them. She was an avid Vikings and Twins fan and never missed watching a game. Her faith was an equally important part of her life. She could quote scripture until her last days and led several Bible Study groups for Grace Lutheran Church, Albert Lea. After losing her husband to cancer on May 5, 1976, Donna worked for Grace Lutheran as the Director of Education. Her faith was evident to all who knew her and were fortunate enough to call her a loved one or dear friend. Her devotion was the foundation for her family's faith as well.

Her loving kindness and charitable spirit will be sorely missed by her family and friends, along with her maternal, loving guidance. Donna is preceded in death by her husband, Donald, her parents Ole and Bernice Almelien, her father-in-law and her mother-in-law, Arthur and Margaret Ball, and several aunts, uncles and cousins.

She will be missed by her six sons, Steven of Albert Lea; Scott (Jodi), of Mason City; Thomas (Nancy), of Mason City; Robert (Laura), Albert Lea; Brian (Sarah), of Albert Lea; and John (Tracey) of Albert Lea. Her rich family life included her 16 grandchildren, Andrew (Kelly) Ball, of Big Lake, MN; Nicole (Rev. Nathan) Nelson, of Poplar, WI; and Sarah Ball, Albert Lea; Elizabeth, Benjamin and Noah Ball, Mason City, IA; Matthew and Joshua Ball, Mason City, IA; Megan Ball, Albert Lea; Jacob, Ethan and Liam Ball of Albert Lea; and Cody, Ian, Trevor and Haley Ball of Albert Lea. She also welcomed two great-grandchildren into the family: Olivia and Harper and was excited to know a new great-grandchild was expected in August 2018. She also is survived by her sister-in-law, Sharon Ball, of Albert Lea.

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