Donovan Stensrud, 83, of Clarkfield, died Saturday, November 11, 2017 at Prairie Home Hospice in Marshall. Funeral services will be held on Thursday, November 16, at 10:30 a.m. at St. Lucas Lutheran Church. Burial will be in the church cemetery at a later date. Visitation with the family will be held on Wednesday, November 15, from 5-7 p.m. at Lynner Funeral Home in Clarkfield with a Prayer Service at 6:30 p.m. Visitation will continue one hour prior to services at the church.
Donovan (Donnie) Stensrud was born on October 23, 1934 in Clarkfield to Marvin and Beatrice (Johnson) Stensrud. He was baptized and confirmed at St. Lucas Lutheran Church, where he was also an active lifelong member. Donnie grew up in Westerheim Township. He attended country school, and graduated from Minneota in 1952. Donnie married Shirley Anna Wolf on June 10, 1956 in Enderlin, North Dakota. Prior to their marriage he often rode a train from Minneota to Enderlin, ND to court her. To this union four children were blessed: Bradley, Brian, Timothy, and Tamara.
They farmed and raised their children in Swede Prairie Township. Donnie was active in agriculture boards and councils, township, elevator, and church boards. He taught his sons how to work hard, and fix almost anything. If something was broken, those Stensrud boys would surely know how to fix it. Donnie enjoyed hunting pheasants, and jack rabbits. He treasured many summers at the lake spending time with his family and fishing. After he retired from farming with his brothers Larry and Rodney in 2006, he volunteered at the thrift store and would tinker with/fix things.
He and Shirley enjoyed traveling and would spend winters in Texas. Christmas was a special time for Donnie. He would decorate the yard and house into a winter wonderland and had a special connection to Santa. During the holidays, Donnie and Shirley would have all the grandchildren stay for the Christmas Break. There was never a dull moment keeping the kids busy Indian leg wrestling, sledding, playing charades, and making strawberry shakes. After dropping the kids off he would always say, "Now that's a Happy New Year.”
He taught his grandchildren what unconditional love is, and to always be patient, kind, and understanding. In the last few years, Donnie showed a decline in memory, but three things never left his mind. Family, faith, and farming.
Donovan is survived by his wife, Shirley; sons: Brian (Lyn) Stensrud and Tim (Julie) Stensrud; daughter-in-law, Chery Stensrud; grandchildren; Jessie (Drew) Syring, Jason (Anna) Stensrud, Jamie (Adam) Martin, Josh (Vanessa) Stensrud, Jessie Brian (Christiana) Stensrud, Jodie (Jacob) Forstein, Elsie (Joe) Nelson; step-granddaughter, Jessica (Tyler) Schuetz; great-grandchildren: Danielle and Madeline Syring, Brynn, Broden, and Brax Stensrud, Austin and Hadley Martin, Jersey, Pearl, and Charles Stensrud; step-great-grandsons: Miles and Mason Schuetz, Izobel Johnson, Cora and Oscar Nelson, along with one great grandchild on the way; brothers: Larry (Ann) Stensrud, Rodney (Lonna) Stensrud; sister, Bonnie (Ralph) Walker; along with a number of in-laws, nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Marvin and Beatrice Stensrud; brother, Derald in infancy; daughter, Tamara Stensrud; son, Brad Stensrud; and great-granddaughter, Elizabeth Martin. In lieu of flowers, please consider donations to the Prairie Home Hospice in Marshall, or the St. Lucas Church.