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Donna H (Banack) Olson
February 4, 1933 ~ November 7, 2023 (age 90) 90 Years Old
Donna H. Olson was born on February 4, 1933 in Cincinnati Ohio to Anthony and Clara Banack. She spent most of her growing up days in Minneapolis, MN. As a child she and her brothers dug and sold worms to fishermen at the family owned resort on Long Lake. She attended Saint Margarets High School where in addition to chasing boys she was a star on the girls basketball team. She met the love of her life Wally, while she was a soda jerk at a drugstore in Wayzata. For their first date much to her dads chagrin Wally showed up on his Indian Motorcycle. They were married Oct 24, 1953 in Minneapolis and raised 4 children in Minnetonka. In addition to being a mother and housewife Donna had many jobs including being a key punch operator at Honeywell where she played on the company basketball team as well, a school bus driver, and later she helped in the family business and sold goodies at Wally’s Home Bakery in Brooklyn Park. Donna was quick to point out and frequently said, “I am not a baker!” She was a hard worker and queen of the cleaning and dishwashing. Wally’s baking career moved the family to Bemidji in 1968. While in Bemidji she was a Girl Scout leader and she worked in the bakery and various departments at John’s SuperValu. She finally got of the bakery going to work at Bemidji State University where she was in charge of the audio visual department and also worked in admissions.
After 12 years in Bemidji an ad to buy a bakery in a trade journal landed the family in Brush, Colorado where they owned the Honey Bun Bakery and had their grand opening in January 1980. Donna was back at selling fresh baked goods and washing dishes. Time in Brush brought on some additional entrepreneurial opportunities including running the concessions at the Brush and Ft. Morgan softball games, the Ft. Morgan Swimming pool and golf course. As if she didn’t have enough dishes to wash and candy to sell, she bought a food truck and sold the bakery items at auctions all around Northeastern Colorado. The Honey Bun Bakery was sold in 1990, Wally bought an RV and off to be snow birds in Mesa AZ they went. They ended up at the Country Cousins 55+ park where they planned on living in the winter and enjoying their RV in cooler areas in the summer. They enjoyed the people at Country Cousins so much they discussed buying a mobile home there. Unfortunately Wally passed away in 1992. Donna made the big decision to go ahead and do it on her own and she lived there year around.
Living in Country Cousins, Donna literally became a cousin to all. She played competitive shuffleboard, served on the activity committee, hosted regular “Happy Hours” and game nights on her patio. Her favorite time of the year was when she would host a burrito feed for the other park residents when her grandkids from Colorado were in town. Somehow she found the time to work as an usher for the Arizona Diamondbacks, in addition she was the go to driver to and from the airport for many in the park. After several years, Country cousins sold out to a big corporation and “just didn’t feel right” any more and she moved to two other parks until her Daughter Patty moved to the valley and Donna has basically lived with Patty ever since. She loved playing Bingo and her annual trip to Las Vegas with her three daughters. This past February she celebrated her 90th Birthday with almost all of her children, grand children and great grandchildren attending the party in her honor. She passed away peacefully November, 7th at her home in Apache Junction, AZ with all of her children and her beloved dog Cinderella at her side.
Donna is proceeded in death by her parents, Tony and Clara Banack, Her husband Wally, and her Brothers Jerome and Duane Banack. She is survived by her brother Jim (Nadine) Banack, Minneapolis MN, daughters Sandy (Chuck) Sprenger, of Fair Oaks Ranch TX, Patty Olson (her caretaker), Apache Junction, AZ, Judy (Ken) Kreutzer, Brighton CO, and son Ed (Susan) Olson, Queen Creek AZ. Grandchildren, Zac & Abby Sprenger, Brandon Olson, Missy White, Johnny & Ben Kreutzer, Kenny Owens, Summer De Herrera, Tiana, Amanda, David, Thomas & Robby Olson, and 7 Great Grandchildren. She will be greatly missed.
A celebration of Donna’s life will be held on Saturday, December 2, 10:00 a.m., at The Alli Event Center, 100 South 3rd Ave, Brighton CO. She will be interned with her husband at Ft. Logan National Cemetery, Denver.