Donna Lou Tomten


Donna Lou Tomten, 92, formerly of Pigeon Falls and Osseo, died peacefully, Wednesday, June 26, 2024, at River Pines Grace Lutheran Communities in Altoona.

Donna was born to Marvin and Melva (Olson) Melby, July 27, 1931, at her parents’ home in the Town of Pigeon, Trempealeau County. She married Donald O. Tomten, her high-school sweetheart, September 15, 1951, at Evangelical Lutheran Church in Pigeon Falls. Donald preceded her in death, October 23, 2007.

Donna was a loving and caring daughter, sister, wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, Godmother and aunt.

She attended grade school in Pigeon Falls and high school at Whitehall until her family moved to Osseo. There, she graduated from Lincoln Hills High School in 1950. Her career in cosmetology began with attending and graduating from the Milwaukee Accredited School of Cosmetology in Eau Claire. She worked at beauty salons in Eau Claire, Black River Falls and Alma Center before opening her own salon in 1963, at her home east of Pigeon Falls. For 36 years, Donna operated the “Town & Country Salon,” where her customers became good friends.

Donna was a dedicated and faithful member of Pigeon Falls Evangelical Lutheran Church throughout her lifetime. She was baptized and confirmed there and used her beautiful voice to sing with the choir. Donna was a member of the Women of the Evangelical Church in America (WELCA), as well as a church circle.

She was an excellent cook and homemaker and was always ready and willing to help others, whether at church or for family or friends. Donna greatly enjoyed attending the school and church activities as well as sporting events for her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren and encouraging them in all their efforts. She seldom missed an opportunity to watch the Green Bay Packers and Wisconsin Badgers.

Donna loved the fun of getting together with family to celebrate birthdays and holidays. She was an excellent baker and especially enjoyed Norwegian Christmas baking and making Lefse. Cooking a traditional Norwegian Christmas meal and having family gather to enjoy it was important to her.

Donna and Don enjoyed traveling throughout the United States and had a fabulous trip to Norway.

Donna is survived by her son, David (Heidi) Tomten of Eau Claire; a daughter, Nancy (Nels) Gunderson of Osseo; granddaughters: Blair Tomten of Salt Lake City, UT, and Berit Tomten of Seattle, WA.; grandsons: Bernt (Kendall) Gunderson and Trystan Gunderson; and great-grandchildren: Jaxon and Blayke Gunderson, all of Osseo; a step-sister, Ruth Bridgewater; a step-sister-in-law, Pat Kildahl; and sister-in-law, Audrey Tomten.

In addition to her parents and her husband, Donna was preceded in death by an infant son; her sister, Dorothy (Merton) Stalheim; her brother, Wallen Melby; stepfather, Einar Kildahl; step-brothers and step-sisters: Erling (Margrete) Kildahl, Richard Kildahl, Philip Kildahl, Mildred (Jim) Briggs and Jack Bridgewater; brothers-and-sisters-in-law: Ruth (Maynard) Roelofs, Fern (Sidney) Gilbertson and Bob Tomten.

The family extends heartfelt thanks to River Pines Grace Lutheran Communities and to St. Croix Hospice for the excellent care and compassion shown to Donna.

A Celebration of Life memorial service will be held Tuesday, August 20, 2024, at 11:00 a.m., at Peace Lutheran of Pigeon Falls, with burial at Evangelical Lutheran Cemetery, both in Pigeon Falls. Pastor Greg Ofsdahl will officiate. Friends may call one hour prior to the service.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorials be directed to Peace Lutheran of Pigeon Falls or the Evangelical Lutheran Cemetery in Pigeon Falls.

Special Sections

Comment Here