Fern Dorothea McDonald, longtime Mankato business woman, passed away peacefully at Sterling House in Mankato, on Monday, January 7, 2013; just four months before her 100th birthday.
Mass of Christian Burial will be 10:00 A.M., Monday, January 14, 2013, at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church, Mankato, with Fr. John Kunz. Visitation will be on Sunday, January 13, 2013 from 2 to 5 P.M. at Landkamer-Johnson-Boman Funeral Home. Burial will be at St. Mary's Cemetery in Winona, MN. Landkamer-Johnson-Boman Funeral Home is assisting with arrangements.
Fern Dorothea was the third of four children born to George and Lillian (Frey) Erpelding on May 16, 2013, in Winona, MN. On August 8, 1937, Fern was united in marriage to James E. McDonald of Winona. They were married for 52 years. Employed by Sears Roebuck and Landkamer's, as their lead Interior Designer and Buyer. In 1964, Fern and James opened McDonald's Interior Design where she remained active until 1989, hence to pursue her career as an independent Interior Designer.
Fern was a tireless fund raiser on behalf of St. John's Catholic School, especially the grade school. Fern was a member of St. John the Baptist Catholic Church for the past 73 years. Her favorite pastime included gardening, baking, reading, sewing, playing cards, and bowling (well into her 90's). Crocheting countless baby bonnets for newborns at ISJ hospital. A devoted fan of the Minnesota Vikings, Twin, and Golden Gophers. She traveled the world, insisting upon her return, "There's no place like home."
Fern is survived by her four children, Robert (Pam) McDonald of North Mankato, Sharon Heimer of Orinda, CA, Quinn (Jacque) McDonald of Mankato, and Colleen (Burt) Emanuel of Mankato; 11 grandchildren, Paul (Lynn) McDonald of Woodbury, Mike (Kelly) McDonald of St. Michael, Denise (Troy) Schweim of Pemberton, Shereen Heimer Dorsch of Bellingham, WA, Josie (Tom) Dougan of Madison Lake, Jeff (Susan) McDonald of Victoria, Kevin (Jenni) McDonald of New Prague, Heather (Jim) Hebl of Rochester, Kimberly Manderfeld of Mankato, Tamara (Shane) Gibson of North Mankato and Brandon Emanuel (fianc Shavonne Reimer) of North Mankato; 19 great-grandchildren; sister-in-law, Betty Frie of Rochester; brother, Bill (Jean) McDonald of San Antonio, TX; and many nieces and nephews.
Fern was preceded in death by her husband, James on October 8, 1989; her brother and sisters; and her son-in-law, Lt. Col. John M. Heimer. The family wishes to thank the Sterling House, the Mayo Clinic, and the Mankato Clinic for the
excellent care provided for their mother.