Cover photo for Donna Mae Grubbs's Obituary
Donna Mae Grubbs Profile Photo
1945 Donna 2018

Donna Mae Grubbs

September 4, 1945 — November 1, 2018

Donna Mae Grubbs, age 73, of Winnebago, died Thursday, November 1, 2018, at her home. Memorial services will be held on Wednesday, November 7, 2018, at 6:00 PM, at Lutheran Church of Our Savior in Winnebago, with Rev. Robert Bailey officiating.  Private family burial will be in Rosehill Cemetery, Winnebago, MN.  Web tributes may be left at Donna was born September 4, 1945, in Ogden, UT, the daughter of George and Orvella (Lash) Ellsworth. Donna is survived by her husband, Karl Grubbs of Winnebago, mother, Louella “Orvella” Murphy of Long Island, NY, daughter, Marla (Gary) Sutcliffe of Rimrock, AZ, daughter, Tara (Andy) Jacobsen of Winnebago, brother, Chuck (Linda) Ellsworth of Victorville, CA, brother, Sean (Chelly) Murphy of Windsor Ontario, Canada, sister, Sheryll Murray of Long Island, NY,  sister, Ella Berke of St. Petersburg, FL, grandchildren, Tryson (Cassie) Weber, Tagen, Jaxx, Gabrien, and Marie Jacobsen. Good evening.  Thank you all for being here We are all here to honor Donna Mae Grubbs September 4, 1945 – November 1, 2018   Donna was my sister, my protector, my inspiration, and my guide through life.   Please allow me to take you on a short journey with me.    It began as World War II was winding down.   Our mother was a high school girl with a crush on a high school senior athlete.    Love was in the air and was quite contagious at the time.    Our mother and father eloped from northern Utah to Idaho to get married.    Many years later we ran across the marriage certificate along with a telegram from our father asking his dad to wire enough money for them to get back from Idaho.  They went to Idaho with only enough gas money to get there and to pay for the marriage.    As I said, love was in the air. Donna was born in Ogden, Utah on September 4, 1945.   I followed in November of the following year.   As was often the case after the war, that marriage dissolved shortly thereafter.     Mom was a beautiful young woman with two young children to raise.    She also had a lovely voice so Mom became a professional songstress, moving around the country performing where she could.    Sometime during that period Mom disappeared mysteriously, so police found two toddlers in an apartment in Buffalo, New York.    We were placed in Foster homes and nearly adopted out when a detective our  Grandparents had hired found us in his search for our mother.   Grandma and Grandpa Lash took the train to Buffalo to rescue and legally adopt us.   Our new life began in the farm houses and ranch houses outside Ogden, Utah. One memory from that time stands out as an illustration of Donna’s character.    We were living in a Depression era house on a ranch not far from the shore of the Great Salt Lake.   Our house had a wringer style washing machine sitting outside the back of the house, using an extension cord out a window for electricity.    Donna got curious about the wringer so she put her finger into it.   It swallowed her up to the armpit quickly while I ran for help.   In those days, no child ever interrupted an adult!    I found Grandpa talking with 4 other men so I ran to the group and stood fidgeting while they talked about tractors… and horses… and hay...    Finally, someone asked what I was dancing around about.    I blurted out that “Donna was stuck in the washing machine and she needed help.”     Like rescuing a kitten down a well, they all ran to the back of the house to find the wringer still turning on her little arm up to the armpit.    They got Donna out without a whimper or a tear from her.     She remained that strong all her life.   Growing up in farm country made her even stronger.   She learned to ride horses like a professional and grew to be the one person picked to train and break the horses.    I remember about 4 teenaged guys snubbing a newly saddled colt to a post while Donna climbed into the saddle.  She rode that horse through the wildest ride anyone has ever seen….     No 8 second buzzer for her!    She stayed in that saddle until that colt walked peacefully around the corral.   I never saw a horse she could not ride… Likewise, I never saw a horse that could not buck me off! In the mid 50’s that same detective finally found Mom.   It turns out she had been admitted in the Buffalo hospital with bruises to her neck and no memory of who she was or even what her name was.    Mom was now working as a waitress in Times Square in New York City.   Her name had changed and she no longer had a singing voice, but she loved us once she met us again.   Our Grandparents gave us the choice of moving back to New York or staying in Utah.  We chose New York, but with the condition that we continued to spend the summers in Utah.  We had dual citizenship- Utah cowboys and New York street smart.     While living in New York, mostly on Long Island, Donna developed a gang of girlfriends in which she was the “Leader of the Pack.”    They got into mischief and often pulled me into their schemes.   One time they swarmed all over me with make up and clothes to dress me up like I was the “new girl on the block.”   They took me from house to house introducing the strange new girl to all their parents.   I had no choice in the matter; Donna cast a spell on all of us with her charm,      but I am so grateful that cell phones and the internet did not yet exist. In time we both grew up.  Donna got married and Marla was born.   Donna remarried later and Tara was born.   Her two beloved children.    On August 23, 1986, Donna married her one true love and both girls got Karl Grubbs as their father.     Karl has remained her soul mate ever since then.    My own soul mate, my wife Linda, has put up with me over that same period of time.   So, what were Donna’s priorities?     There were three:  The Lord our God, Her loving family, and the freedom she got from motorcycle riding.    All three made her happy, but Donna wore a smile on her face throughout her life.    Like the time when her arm was caught in the wringer, Donna never complained or focused on herself.    She experienced pain, but always showed concern for others rather than herself.    Even when in the hospital in Rochester, her doctors and nurses fell in love with her caring soul and her glowing smile.   The only exception I know of was when a nurse stood Donna up, then turned away to do something else, dropping Donna to the floor.   Naturally, Donna apologized to the nurse for falling.   It did not make her happy, but she asked Karl to give a generous tip to this nurse nevertheless. In the Book of Job, “I know that My Redeemer lives” are the famous words from Job despite the incredible pain and hardship he faced.    Donna would go one step further by saying the “I know that My Redeemer lives and I want to walk and talk with him!”     I am confident that Donna is doing exactly that now.    She was a true believer who had a radiant glow that shined from her entire being.    Heaven has a new smile now!     Donna lives on, awaiting her friends and family to join her. I love her as do so many of you.  She will be missed, but she also lives in our hearts.       
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Service Schedule

Past Services

Celebration of Life

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

6:00 - 6:45 pm (Central time)

Lutheran Church of Our Savior

121 1st Ave SE, Winnebago, MN 56098

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