October 13, 1926 - July 19, 2019
Donna C. Kersten Sorensen, 92, of Harlan IA passed away on Friday, July 19, 2019, surrounded by her children at the home of her daughter Nancy Kersten Carlson of Moorhead, IA. Donna was born on October 13, 1926 to William A. Lockling and Laura Bell (Piercy) Lockling at Sandy Point on the Missouri River. She graduated from Modale High School in 1944 under the Normal Training Course curriculum and received her teaching certificate from Iowa State Teacher's College. Years later in 1980, she went on to earn a Bachelor of Arts Degree from Buena Vista College, the same year as her 5th child. Donna started her teaching career in Persia, Iowa, at the age of 18 and later moved to teach in Mondamin, IA where she was also a sponsor for the girls' basketball team. It was on a basketball trip that she met her husband, Lauren E. Kersten. She was united in marriage with Lauren on January 16, 1949, at the First Christian Church in Council Bluffs, Iowa, and to this union seven children were born: Larry, Bob, Jerry, Deb, Julia, Nancy, and Laura. To these seven children and spouses were born 21 grandchildren and 34 great-grandchildren, with more still possible. Lauren passed away in August, 1981. Donna was a life-long learner and teacher. In her learning and her teaching, she made lifelong friends. She started teaching in a one-room school house, and continued with generations of school children, decades of Sunday School children, as well as her own children, grandchildren, great grandchildren, foster children and foreign exchange students. In Donna's spare time she loved planting, growing and harvesting flowers and garden produce. She taught her children to do the same and also to bake, cook, can and store as much of God's bounty as possible. With her love, guidance and direction, the children and gardens flourished and the root cellars, fruit rooms, classrooms and tables were always full! Meals always started with bowed heads, folded hands, and prayers. She knew that folded hands were much less likely to get into trouble around a crowded table and that, while the meal would barely last until the next one, the bowed heads and prayers would last a lifetime! Music played a large part in her life from an early age. She began to chord on the piano while her dad and brothers played the fiddle. Those family music sessions continued into the next generation as she taught her children and her students to harmonize their voices and their lives. She was always happy to sit down at her piano with her children gathered around, singing out of well-loved Hymnals. Donna at the piano was often the center of family gatherings. After losing her first husband, Donna married R. Leroy Sorensen of Harlan in 1994. They enjoyed many years of square dancing and traveling together before his death in April, 2017. Donna served her Lord as an active member of Christ's Church in Harlan and served her community by being a leader of the Prairie Rose 4-H Club, a beloved Dean of the youngest campers at Nebowa Christian Camp, a member of Concerned, Inc., Harlan Chapter of Kiwanis, Shelby County Historical Society, Christ's Church Ladies' Circle, and multiple community choirs. She was a faithful Sunday School teacher and church pianist until she was nearly 90 years old. She was preceded in death by her parents, her brother Robert S. Lockling, her first husband Lauren Ellis Kersten, and her second husband Robert Leroy Sorensen. Donna is survived by four siblings: William D. Lockling of Rio Linda, CA, Ardith Eugene Lockling of Yale, IA, Kenneth L. Lockling of Hastings, NE, and Carolyn F. Lockling Nielson of Des Moines, IA; seven children:Larry L. Kersten (Sandi) of Rio, WV; Robert E. Kersten (Carol) of McKinney, TX; Jerald E. Kersten (Connie) of Castle Rock, CO; Deborah D. Kersten Barber (Jonathan) of Payson, AZ; Julia A. Kersten Roberts (Greg) of Panora, IA; Nancy J. Kersten Carlson (Dave) of Moorhead, IA; Laura L. Kersten Stanton (Steve) of Chehalis, WA; 21 grandchildren: Jeremy Kersten(Joy), Kris Kersten(Kate), Jonnae Barber Shetter(Tim), Lisa Kersten, Amy Barber Roberts(Adam), Scott Kersten(Annie), Melissa Barber Ellis(Andrew), Jason Roberts(Jenna), Kyle Kersten(Betsy), Nathan Roberts(Lizzie), Andrew Carlson(Sarah), Kristen Roberts Reinhardt(Gus), Kord Kersten, Kaci Kersten Martin(Juan), Cassie Carlson Mulder (Ryan), Kersten Stanton Peterson(David), Jordan Carlson(Brooke), Amanda Roberts Cox(Sam), Jordan Stanton(Brittany), Kreg Kersten, Keah Kersten John(Austin), and 34 great grandchildren. Memorials in Donna's memory may be directed to Concerned, Inc. in Harlan, IA.
Donna C. Kersten Sorensen, 92, of Harlan IA passed away on Friday, July 19, 2019, surrounded by her children at the home of her daughter Nancy Kersten Carlson of Moorhead, IA. Donna was born on October 13, 1926 to William A. Lockling and... View Obituary & Service Information
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