Donna Ball, 1934-2018

Published 1:00 am Friday, January 26, 2018

Funeral services for Donna Joan (Almelien) Ball, 83, of Albert Lea will be at 10 a.m. Monday at Grace Lutheran Church. The Rev. Shane Koepke will officiate. Interment will be at Lakewood Cemetery. Visitation will be from 2 to 5 p.m. Sunday at Bayview/Freeborn Funeral Home and one hour prior to the service at the church Monday. Online condolences are welcome at

Donna Ball

Donna was called home by her heavenly father Wednesday, Jan. 24, 2018, at St. Marys in Rochester following a brief illness.

Her life was truly blessed. She was born to Ole and Bernice (Hagen) Almelien on June 18, 1934, in Lake Mills and in 1952 graduated from Lake Mills High School. Donna attended and graduated from Iowa State Teachers College — now University of Northern Iowa — in 1954. She taught several years as an elementary teacher in Hartley, Iowa; Thompson, Iowa; and Lake Mills.

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It was in high school where she met her one and only love, her beloved husband, Donald Lee Ball. After Don returned from serving his country in Korea, the couple was married July 31, 1955, at Salem Lutheran Church in Lake Mills. To this union six boys were born. She enjoyed so much in life, especially her family.

She loved family camping trips, watching her sons and grandchildren participate in the many sporting activities and spending many holidays and events with them. She was an avid Minnesota Vikings and Minnesota Twins fan and never missed watching a game. Her faith was an equally important part of her life. She could quote scripture until her last days and led several Bible study groups for Grace Lutheran Church in Albert Lea.

After losing her husband to cancer May 5, 1976, Donna worked for Grace Lutheran as the director of education. Her faith was evident to all who knew her and were fortunate enough to call her a loved one or dear friend. Her devotion was the foundation for her family’s faith, as well.

Her loving kindness and charitable spirit will be sorely missed by her family and friends, along with her maternal, loving guidance.

Donna is preceded in death by her husband, Donald; parents Ole and Bernice Almelien; father-in law and her mother-in-law Arthur and Margaret Ball; and several aunts, uncles and cousins.

She will be missed by her six sons, Steven of Albert Lea, Scott (Jodi) of Mason City, Thomas (Nancy) of Mason City, Robert (Laura) of Albert Lea, Brian (Sarah) of Albert Lea and John (Tracey) of Albert Lea. Her rich family life included her 16 grandchildren, Andrew (Kelly) Ball of Big Lake, Nicole (Nathan) Nelson of Poplar, Wisconsin, and Sarah Ball of Albert Lea, Elizabeth, Benjamin and Noah Ball of Mason City, Matthew and Joshua Ball of Mason City, Megan Ball of Albert Lea, Jacob, Ethan and Liam Ball of Albert Lea, and Cody, Ian, Trevor and Haley Ball of Albert Lea. She also welcomed two great-grandchildren into the family, Olivia and Harper, and was excited to know a new great-grandchild was expected in August 2018. She also is survived by her sister-in-law, Sharon Ball, of Albert Lea.