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DONNA M. HOUSER

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Donna Mae (Korpi) Houser died Monday, March 11 at her home in Bemidji in the company of her husband. She was born April 27, 1938, in Grand Rapids to Herman and Taimi Korpi. After graduating from Deer River High School in 1956 she went to work for TriState Hosiery in Duluth, where she lived in an apartment owned by the parents of soon-to-be lifelong friends and special sisters Joyce and Karen Hill. In 1964 Donna married Lynn Houser and they lived at Jessie Lake north of Deer River, then moved to Grand Rapids in 1969 and finally to Bemidji in 1971. They had three daughters and after they were grown enough Donna went to work in the newsroom of the Bemidji Pioneer newspaper, where she worked for 17 years. She was a member of the League of Women Voters and was active in the Republican party for many years, serving as Beltrami County Chairwoman 1983-1985. Donna enjoyed travel, from coast-to-coast and border-to-border in the U.S., to parts of Canada, and to France. She also enjoyed live theatre shows, occasional casino visits, excelled at trivia and crossword puzzles, and was an avid reader, especially of books, a trait that she passed on to her daughters. When she joined Lynn in retirement, they spent 16 pleasant winters on the Texas Gulf coast in Rockport-Fulton. Donna smoked for 50 years starting in high school and was diagnosed with lung cancer in 2005, which was treated with chemotherapy and radiation, followed by surgery to remove the affected lobe of her lung. She had a few more good years, but eventually succumbed to severe COPD and related conditions including congestive heart failure. Donna was predeceased by her parents, brother Marvin and several aunts and uncles. She is survived by her husband, daughters Marcia (Dave) Podratz of Duluth, Angela (Dan) Ginkel of St. Paul and Linda (Vic) Tafur of Oakland, CA and their daughters, respectively, Malia Rowell, Aili Ginkel and Karina Tafur, as well as two aunts, one uncle and numerous cousins, nephews and nieces, one sister-in-law and her husband, and of course her special sisters Joyce Matalamaki and Karen Vavra. Special thanks to the front-line caregivers of Sanford Hospice for eight months of helping care for Donna. No funeral service will be held. A small gathering of close friends and family will be held in April. Please direct any memorials to your preferred hospice or charity. The family was served by The Cremation Society of Minnesota, Duluth.

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