Donnie was born August 26, 1934 in Caledonia to Nicholas and Marcella (Schiltz) Rommes. He graduated from the Loretto High School in Caledonia. He served in the United States Army. On July 5, 1958 he married Marguerite "Marge" Schroeder. She later passed away on July 13, 1999. On May 18, 2001 he married Darlene Diersen Gengler. He farmed for 50 years and also managed Golden Age / Whispering Pines Apartments for nine years, and worked at Snopac in Caledonia until his retirement.
Donnie will always be remembered for his big, contagious, cheerful smile. He was a genuine, kind, and caring person who saw the good in everyone and would go out of his way to help anyone in need. He was also a notorious prankster with a wonderful sense of humor and would do whatever he could to make someone smile. But he will be best remembered as a hard working farmer who was the happiest on his John Deere tractor working in the fields. He loved his life, family, and friends. He also enjoyed painting and restoring old tractors to look new, woodworking and building birdhouses, bowling, golfing, gardening, family and grandchildren, and in his younger years boxing.
Donnie passed away unexpectedly Saturday, February 5, 2011 at the age of 76.
Donnie is survived by his wife Darlene of Caledonia; six daughters Julie Connor (Lenny Thorstenson) of Waterville, Iowa, Terri (Dan) Gavin of Houston, Minnesota., Deb (Randy) Myhre of Fargo, North Dakota, Karen (Larry) Wermager of Caledonia, Connie (Paul) Link of Rochester, Minnesota, and Amy Rommes of Caledonia; step-children Pete Gengler, Nick (Nicolette) Gengler, Joan (Doug) Dewall, and Jenny (Troy) Winjum all of Caledonia; 13 grandchildren; one great granddaughter; 12 step-grandchildren; 9 step- great grandchildren; brothers and sisters Mary (Jerry) Mitchell of Albernette, Iowa, Jeanne Kelly (special friend Jim Koshmeder) of Del Ray Beach, Florida, and Paul (Neldene) Rommes of Caledonia; and many nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents; his first wife, Marge; and siblings Dale and Jerry, and four step-grandchildren.
Funeral Mass will be 11:00 a.m. Friday, February 11, 2011 at the St. Mary's Catholic Church in Caledonia with Father Gregory Leif officiating. Burial will be in the Calvary Cemetery with military rites. Visitation will be 4 - 8 pm Thursday at Holy Family Hall in Caledonia with a prayer service at 7:30. Memorials are preferred to ABLE, Woodland Industries, or Camp Winnebago.