Donna Lee James, 75

Donna Lee James, age 75, of New Prague, died peacefully on May 23, 2023 at Mayo Clinic Health System Hospital Mankato.  Donna was born on September 29, 1947 in Mankato to Peter and Marcella (Zastrow) Menten.  She graduated from Mankato High School and went on to attain her teaching degree from Mankato State College.  Donna taught in Waseca and after marrying Thomas P. James, taught music for grades 7-12 for over 30 years in Jordan Public Schools where Tom was also teaching.  Music was Donna’s passion throughout her life and she found pleasure and fulfillment in every aspect of it.  She and Tom enjoyed dancing together and passed that ability to their grandchildren.  She served as the choir director at Friedens Evangelical Lutheran Church for many years.  Commitment to civic volunteerism saw her as an active volunteer with the Jordaness Lions Club.  Donna loved traveling with frequent trips to the cabin they had near Hackensack, MN and annual winter trips on the road, where she and Tom visited every state except Oregon, Alaska, and Hawaii.  Travel with girlfriends took her to places such as New York, Ireland, and Branson, MO.  Donna radiated kindness and was devoted to her family.

 Donna is survived by her husband of over 40 years, Tom James; daughter, Debbie (Mark) Kasner; grandchildren, Maggie Kasner (fiancé, Cole), Nick Kasner, Leah Kasner, Hannah Kasner, Dylan (Marissa) James, Abby James; brothers, Dale (Julie) Menten, Dean Menten; nieces & nephews, Eric Menten, Heather Menten, Tammy (Brian) Anderson; grand-nieces & -nephews, Rachel Lyons, Ginny Lyons, Andrew Lyons, Audrianna Menten, Emily Menten, Haddon Anderson, Brady Anderson.   She is preceded in death by her parents; son, Tony James; sister, Diane Menten.

 Memorial services will be held in early July at Friedens Evangelical Lutheran Church in Lanesburgh, MN.



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