Donna Hiller | Obituaries | Mankato Free Press

Donna M. Hiller, 85, of Good Thunder, died Monday, September 12, 2022 at Mapleton Community Home after 13 years of battling Alzheimer’s disease.
Funeral Mass will be held on Thursday, September 15 at 11:00 a.m. at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church, Good Thunder. Visiting hours will be Wednesdays from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church and will continue one hour before the church service. Interment will be in Saint-Joseph Cemetery, Bon Tonnerre. Northview-North Mankato Mortuary is in charge of arrangements. Memorials are preferred at St. Joseph’s Catholic Cemetery and the Alzheimer’s Association.
Donna was born at home on the farm near Granada, MN on February 14, 1937, to Henry and Laura (Wannarka) Fritz. She was a Valentine’s Day baby and was proud of it. She was the youngest of five siblings. She had three older brothers who she said always needed her to be the fourth when she was playing wrestling. She was baptized and received her First Communion at St. John Vianney Catholic Church in Fairmont, MN. She attended country school near Imogene, MN, walking two miles there and back. Her family then moved to Sterling Center, MN around 1947 and she attended country school there until 8th grade. Her comment was that she was the fastest runner in her school. She was confirmed at St. Teresa’s Catholic Church in Mapleton. She attended high school in Amboy, MN until the end of her junior year when her family purchased a farm outside of Mapleton. She completed her senior year and graduated from Mapleton High School in 1955. After high school, she moved to St. Louis Park and lived with a family as a housekeeper and nanny while attending Gale Institute. Then at the end of the summer, she took the civil service test and she moved with a friend to Arlington, Va., and was assigned a desk job at the Navy Annex near the Pentagon. She returned to Minnesota, after being persuaded by a young man named Royce Hiller, who was in love with her. She then lived in Mankato in an apartment with girlfriends and worked at the Dotson Foundry and began her career at the Social Security Administration Office in Mankato. Donna and Royce were married on January 2, 1961 and moved to their Good Thunder farm where they lived for 61 years. She was a supportive farmer while helping raise their two children. Royce and Donna were in love for life. Through all those years of struggle, she has been comforted by his companionship, love, dedication and support. He allowed her to stay home until her final two weeks.
Family meant everything to Donna, she was the most patient wife, a wonderful mother, a caring daughter and sister, and a loving grandmother. Her faith in God was her strength. Donna has been a devout Catholic all her life. In addition to attending church faithfully, she was involved in teaching religion classes, was a member and officer of the CCW, decoration and environment committee, confirmation godmother, restored cupboards of the church and later in life attended mass every Tuesday with his church ladies.
Donna enjoyed social gatherings, reunions, and many groups of friends, especially her Red Hat ladies. She was a very talented seamstress, a craftswoman and a fantastic cook. She was famous for her peach pies and brownies. She also had the best calligraphy. She loved watching her family play sports. She has spent countless hours on ballparks and auditoriums. It all started with his brothers, his children and then his grandchildren.
Donna was kind and generous. He was a beautiful person with a humble, calm personality and a wonderful smile. She never stopped doing good things for others. She leaves behind so many precious memories that show us how one life can truly make a difference. She will live on in the hearts of all whose lives she touched.
Donna is survived by her husband, Royce; daughter, Cassie (Jay) Winters; son, Kyle Hiller; grandchildren, Brett (Heather) Winters, Ross Winters and a special friend, Adina, Payton Hiller, Parker Hiller and Piper Hiller; great-grandchildren, Wyatt and Tate Winters; and his brothers, Marvin Fritz and Larry Fritz. She was preceded in death by her parents; sister, Lucille (Syd) Billingsley; brother, Leonard Fritz; and his sister-in-law, Neva Fritz.
Donna leaves family and friends who will love her forever. She will be greatly missed by all of us. As she ended each phone call, “Bye now.”

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