EAST PEORIA - Donna Elaine Nerstad, 72, of East Peoria, formerly of Peoria, passed away at 8:40 a.m. Monday, March 31, 2014, surrounded by loved ones, in her home, following a recent diagnosis of advanced stage breast cancer.
Donna was born in Peoria on May 24, 1941, to Walter and Norma (Brown) Kuerth. She married Karl Nerstad (her biggest fan) on June 30, 1968, at First Christian Church in Peoria. He quotes Proverbs Chapter 31, Verse 10: "A good wife who can find? She is far more precious than jewels."
Donna was preceded in death by her parents and her brother, Duane Kuerth.
Donna is survived by her husband, Karl Nerstad; one daughter, Kristin, with her husband, Christopher Denault, and their two children, Katelyn (13) and Joshua (10), all of Batavia, Ill.; son, Brian Nerstad, with his wife, Shona, and their two children, Elyssa (2) and Julianna (5 months), all of Denver, Colo.; and son, Gary Nerstad, with his wife, Amanda, and their two children, Isabella (4) and Greta (1), all of Geneva, Ill.
Donna attended Thomas Jefferson Grade School and graduated from Peoria High School in 1959. She received her BS in Secondary Education from Bradley University in 1963. She taught English and Home Economics at Georgetown Junior High School, near Peoria, for six years, prior to becoming a homemaker once her children were born.
Donna was a devoted, active member and deacon of First Christian Church in Peoria, Ill., carrying out her faith, using her time and talents throughout her life. She also thoroughly enjoyed being a leader in several organizations and clubs, including East Peoria Women's Club, Society of Junior Peorians and Peoria Area Stitchers' Guild. She was gifted in her ability to create precise counted cross-stitch and crocheted projects and generously shared her masterpieces with others.
She will be remembered for her kindness and unselfishness as she always put family and friends first and loved spending time with her children and grandchildren. She had an appreciation for the fine arts. She was an accomplished pianist and her legacy continues through her grandchildren.
Visitation services for Donna will be from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday, April 3, 2014, at The Wilton Mortuary, 2101 N. Knoxville Ave., in Peoria, Ill. Funeral services will be at 10:30 a.m. Friday, April 4, 2014, at First Christian Church, 6400 N. University St., Peoria, Ill. The Rev. Karen Merrick will officiate. Burial will be in Parkview Cemetery in Peoria.
Memorial contributions may be made to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.
Online condolences may be made at www.thewiltonmortuary.com.