Obit: Harder, Donna Rae #2 (1935 - 2015)

Contact: Dolores (Mohr) Kenyon

Surnames: Harder, Leipert, Peterson, Casper, Hoberg, Chapman, Voss, Brunner, Barone, Zealley, Coyier, Spangler, Koppert

----Source: Clark County Press (Neillsville, Clark Co., WI) 5/27/2015

Harder, Donna Rae (24 November 1935 - 20 May 2015)

Donna Rae Harder, 79, of Greenwood died at her home surrounded by family, Wednesday, May 20, 2015, following a lengthy illness.

Donna Rae harder was born Nov. 24, 1935, at the hospital on the corner of Fourth and State streets in Neillsville, the daughter of John M. Peterson and Harriet (Leipert) Peterson. She graduated from Neillsville High School in 1953 and July 25 of the same year she was united in marriage to Hans. J. Harder at the Evangelical and Reformed Church in Neillsville. They moved to Madison for five years while Hans attended college. They moved back to Neillsville in 1958 and farmed in the Town of Weston. While they were farming, Donna Rae also drove school bus for the Neillsville School District. She retired from driving after she was elected to the Neillsville School Board. She served on the school board for 10 years. In 2004, they retired from farming and Donna Rae started working at various businesses in the area, including Johnson Garment in Marshfield and for the past 10 years at Camper and Recreation in Loyal.

Donna Rae was a loving wife mother grandmother and great-grandmother who was devoted to her family. She cherished family traditions and holidays and lived her life believing in strong family values. She rarely missed any of her grandchildren’s school activities, and she loved the family gatherings at the cabin in Hatfield on Lake Arbutus.

Her father was a founding member of Bruce Mound Recreational Area, so Donna Rae was involved with and was a supporter of Bruce Mound throughout her life. She and Hans even ran the mound for one season.

She was a member of the United Church of Christ in Neillsville, and along with the school board, she also served on the hospital board and was a 4-H leader. Donna Rae was immensely creative and talented. She was a huge Green Bay Packer (especially Brett Favre) fan. She enjoyed her neighborhood card parties for 55 years, and she loved being outdoors with nature.

She is survived by seven children: Sheryl (Val R.) Casper of Driggs, ID, Tim (Maureen) Harder of Hugo, MN, Cindee (Mark) Hoberg of Monticello, MN, Robin (Amy) Harder of Neillsville, Jeffery (Angie) Harder of Colfax, Christopher (Sandy) Harder of Chippewa Falls and Bradley (Tracy) Harder of Appleton; 16 grandchildren, Patrick and Elyse Casper, Marisa Harder-Chapman and Erin Harder, Laura and Michael Hoberg, Nicole Voss, Cassie (Josh) and Derek Harder, Joshua (Jacki) Harder, Chelsie (Chris) Brunner, Jacob (Janelle) and Jeremiah Harder (Brianna), Bailey and Bryce harder and Lars harder; 10 great-grandchildren: Sage, Freya and Juniper Harder-Chapman; Tehya Barone, Josia and Jonah Harder, Averie and Liam Zealley and Ella and Hans Harder.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Hans; her parents, John and Harriett Peterson; a sister, Shirley Coyier; and a grandson, Patrick Casper.

A memorial service for Donna Rae was held at 1 p.m. Sunday, May 24, 2015, at the United Church of Christ in Neillsville with Pastor Jacoba Koppert officiating. Deon Spangler, pianist and Bailey and Chelsie Harder, vocalists, provided music. Interment was in the Marie Louise Chapel Cemetery in Christie. Visitation was from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday at the Gesche Funeral Home and from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. Sunday, at the church.

Online condolences may be made at  The Gesche Funeral Home is assisting Donna Rae’s family with funeral arrangements.



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