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LeDonna Evenson

Sept. 20, 1933-Aug. 9, 2010

LeDonna Evenson, 76, of Detroit Lakes, was called to heaven on Monday, August 9, 2010 at Oak Crossing in Detroit Lakes, following her battle with cancer.

Donna was born to Ingvold and Marie (Hovde) Severson on September 20, 1933 in the Mayville, N.D., area. She attended grade school and high school in Mayville. Donna graduated from Mayville State College in 1952. She was united in marriage to Otto Evenson on December 27, 1953 at Mayville Lutheran Church.

Donna taught school in Finley, Cavalier, Pillsbury and Langdon, N.D. She also taught graduate school at North Dakota State University. From the classroom, Donna went to work for the North Dakota Council on the Arts. She became the first administrator of the North Dakota Touring Arts Program, which brought art performances to North Dakota communities of all sizes.

Donna was involved in many council projects, including the display of a collection of North Dakota Native American artists work at the Renwick Gallery in Washington, D.C. She was the inspiration of the North Dakota Christmas Tree Project that still encourages North Dakota artisans to make and donate hand crafted ornaments for the official state Christmas Tree, in the Great Hall at the Capital. Donna took the lead in an exhibit of senior citizen art work known as Winter Wheat, which toured the state and was shown in Washington, D.C. Finally, it was under her watch in 1982, that the nationally recognized exhibition "Iron Spirits," featuring photographs of the handmade iron grave markers made by North Dakota German-Russian blacksmiths, opened and toured the region.

Donna was an active member of First Lutheran Church in Detroit Lakes, and as a circle member. She was also a member of the VFW Auxiliary in West Fargo.

Surviving Donna are her husband, Otto Evenson of Detroit Lakes; grandson, Eric Evenson; numerous nieces, nephews, cousins as well as a very special uncle, Omar Hovde and brother-in-law, Marcus Evenson of Fargo.

Preceding Donna in death were her parents; son, Paul; daughter-in-law, Jean (Schuder); and brother, Eldon Severson.

Funeral services are set for 10 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 14, at First Lutheran Church in Detroit Lakes, with visitation for one hour prior to services at the church.

Interment will be at 2 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 15 in Bruflat Cemetery, Portland, N.D.

Those wanting to share memories and condolences are invited to use the messages of sympathy section online at

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the VFW Auxiliary Cancer Fund (308 Sheyenne St., West Fargo, ND 58078).

Donna's family would like to send a special thank you to the staff at Oak Crossing and Innovis Clinic in Detroit Lakes for their help and support.