OWATONNA — Donald W. Standke, 94, of Owatonna, died Thursday, February 18, 2021, at Birchwood Cottages.
He was born June 12, 1926, in Somerset Township, Steele County, the son of William and Victoria (Wanous) Standke. Donald attended country school. On March 23, 1945, he entered into the United States Army and served during WWII. On October December 29, 1946, Don was honorably discharged and returned home. He married Ione Kaplan on February 7, 1948 at the First Lutheran Church in Hope. They farmed on the Standke family farm in Somerset Township. Together they raised dairy cows, ducks, pigs and chickens. Farming was Donald's true passion. He enjoyed going for car rides to see the countryside, picking raspberries from his own patch, listening to polka music, chopping wood and bowling. Don also enjoyed traveling to the Minnesota State Fair each year and playing cards with his card club for over 60 years. Don had a sweet tooth and his favorites included homemade ice cream and candy. He was a lifetime member of the Owatonna VFW Post #3727, the Owatonna American Legion #77 where he also belonged to the Grandfather's Club. He volunteered at the VFW where he served and enjoyed many pancake breakfasts. He also volunteered at First Lutheran Church in Hope serving during the Swedish meatball suppers and at the Steele County Free Fair working in the beer garden. Don cherished his family especially his grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
Donald is survived by his children, Douglas (and Kathleen) Standke of Savage, Thomas (and Sandra) Standke of Owatonna, and Sherry (and Bradley) Ahrens of Claremont; grandchildren, Jodi Standke, Katie (and Martin) Sundberg, Andrew (and Kaye) Standke, Beth (and Eric) Fink, Eric (and Lacy) Standke, and Travis (and Samantha) Ahrens; great grandchildren, Oliver and Boone Sundberg, Delilah and Fredrik Standke, Ty, Bo and CJ Standke, Max and Zac Fink, and Avery, Teagun, and Addison Ahrens; sister, Ione Rasmussen of Owatonna and brother, Raymond Standke of Owatonna.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Ione Standke; daughter, Gail Johnson; granddaughter, Heather Ahrens and sister, Ethel Karaus.
Visitation will be at Michaelson Funeral Home on Monday, February 22, 2021 from 10:00 AM to 11:00 AM. Funeral services will be held Monday, February 22, 2021 at 11:00 AM at Michaelson Funeral Home with Pastor Jacie Richmond officiating. The service will be available online at: www.wearelivetoday.com/donald-standke. Interment will be in the Owatonna Memorial Gardens in Owatonna with military honors provided by the Steele County Military Funeral Unit. In lieu of flowers, memorials are preferred to St. John Lutheran Church in Owatonna, the Owatonna VFW or to the Owatonna American Legion.