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Donna Irveen Pierce

Donna Irveen (McArdle) Pierce, 87, of St. Paul, died Friday, April 6, 2012, at Tiffany Square in Grand Island. Services will be at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday at Sts. Peter & Paul Catholic Church in St. Paul. The Revs. Mike McDermott, Ray Kosmicki and Tom Ryan will officiate. Burial will be in the Elmwood Cemetery in St. Paul. Visitation will be Tuesday from 5 to 7 p.m. at the church, with a 6 p.m. vigil service. Peters Funeral Home of St. Paul is in charge of arrangements. She was born on Sept. 25, 1924 in Elk City, Nebraska to Irving and Edith (Gelston) McArdle. She was preceded in death by her husband, Robert E. Pierce on June 13, 1991. She is survived by son, Jim and his wife, Juel of St. Joseph, MO, daughter, Pam of Omaha, daughter, Sandy and her husband, Bill Hill of Wichita, KS and son, Fran and his wife, Kim of Omaha. Also surviving are grandchildren, Sarah, Elizabeth, Katie, Jenny and Tyler and great-grandson Nicholas; nieces, Tracy Kochendorfer and Kathleen Knudsen; and nephews, Craig Sorrell and John McArdle. Donna was baptized on Sept. 13, 1925 at the Elk City Methodist Church. She attended elementary school at Elk City and high school at Valley, NE, where she graduated on May 21, 1942. Following high school she attended Midland College in Fremont, NE where she graduated on May 23, 1945, with a degree in music education. After graduating from Midland, Donna accepted a teaching position in the public school system in St. Paul. She taught there until her retirement at age 62 in 1986. During her teaching career, Donna taught at the elementary, middle and high school levels, and served as the head of the English Department. Upon retiring from teaching, Donna began a second career with Central Nebraska Council on Alcoholism and Addictions (CNCAA) where she worked as a prevention specialist. She worked there for 25 years before ill health forced her retirement in 2012. Donna served for many years on the boards of the St. Paul Public School and the St. Paul Library. It was during her tenure on the Library Board that a new library was built. She was active in church as well, at First Presbyterian Church and later at St. Mark's Lutheran Church. At St. Mark's, she served as choir director and organist and was a church council member and president. She also was a Bethel Bible Series teacher. She later became a member of Sts. Peter and Paul Catholic Church. In 2006, she transferred her membership to Resurrection Catholic Church in Grand Island where she served as a Stephens Minister after completing training and receiving her certification. Donna married Robert Elwin Pierce of St. Paul on December 7, 1947, at her parents' home in Elk City. To this union four children were born: Jimmie Lee, Pamela Jane, Sandra Jean and Francis McArdle. Donna and Bob were active with Marriage Encounter for many years. They were instrumental in the relocation and refurbishing of the building which became known as the Alania Club in St. Paul. Donna was a avid reader and also enjoyed antiquing, traveling, exploring her Irish heritage and spending time with her family. In addition to her husband, she was preceded in death by her parents, Irving and Edith and her brother, Francis. The family suggests memorial gifts to the St. Paul Library Foundation or the Central Nebraska Council on Alcoholism and Addictions.

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I was so sorry to hear of Donna's passing. She was my favorite english teacher. She will be sadly missed.

Kris Sack Jakubowski Apr 10 2012 12:00 AM

Donna was a wonderful lady who worked with my mom for a number of years at CNCA. She was like another grandma for my brothers and I when we would visit my mom at work when we were younger.

Andrew McCarty Apr 10 2012 12:00 AM

I extend my sincere condolences to the family. Mrs. Pierce was one of my favorite teachers. She always had high expectations of her students and encouraged you to meet or exceed those expectations. I greatly appreciated the faith she had in each of us to excel. With fond memories, Cheri

Cheri Lee De Moss Apr 9 2012 12:00 AM

Im so very sorry to the family at this time, Donna was an incredible spirit that I was blessed to meet and work with. She was full of wisdom, dedication, passion and commitment. I believe I was brought into Donnas life to learn so very much in our short time together, over the past 2 years. She was an amazing women with amazing love and passion for her family! Im truely sadden to learn of her passing. I will continue to miss our many conversations and laughs, peace be with the family at this time if loss, i know she has received her angelic wings and will continue to be with her entire family!

Stacie Collins Apr 9 2012 12:00 AM

So sorry to hear of Mrs. Pierce's passing, I will always remember her as one of my teachers in St. Paul..She was my 7th grade teacher and I remember her fondly..

Suzy Taylor Tabor Apr 9 2012 12:00 AM

Mrs. Pierce was one of my favorite teachers!! She taught me English in Junior High and I really, really enjoyed her class! She had a great sense of humor and a wonderful personality. I was also good friends with her son Fran. Reading her obituary, I see that she was very actively participating in live to the fullest! I am sure her family will miss her a lot. I am so sorry for your loss and hi to you Fran!!

Denise Jorgensen Novak Apr 8 2012 12:00 AM

It was an honor to call Donna my friend. May she rest in peace.

Fran Buhrman Apr 7 2012 12:00 AM