O'Donnell, Elsie Genevieve 93, of Apple Valley, Minnesota and formerly of Rolla, North Dakota, passed away peacefully on January 24, 2013. She was born October 10, 1919 in Orr, North Dakota to Nels and Carrie (Skibsted) Rustebakke. Elsie was the second of seven children. After graduating from Petersburg High School she attended Mayville State Teacher's College where she earned a Lifetime Teaching Degree. She married the late James O'Donnell and they settled on the O'Donnell farm in Rolla, ND where they raised their daughter, Mary Kathleeen O'Donnell. Elsie taught at Picton Township School for many years and also taught in Rolla. She later attended NDSU to earn her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Education. She was passionate in making a difference in the lives of her students and loved teaching. She went on to teach English Literature at Bottineau Technical College in Bottineau, ND and North Dakota State School of Science in Wahpeton, ND. After retiring Elsie returned to their farm in the Rolla area. Elsie was preceded in death by her husband, James; daughter, Mary Kathleen; her parents, Nels & Carrie (Skibsted) Rustebakke; brothers, Allan, Ralph, Palmer and his wife Wanda, Morris and his wife Elsie and Nels Jr ("Bud"); brother-in-law, Gerald O'Donnell and nephews, Rick and Eric. She is survived by her sister, Carol O'Donnell; her sisters-in- law, Louise Rustebakke and Orpha Rustebakke; many nieces & nephews. A memorial service will be held this spring to honor her extraordinary life. She will be dearly missed by her loving family.
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Published in Star Tribune on Feb. 1, 2013