LaDonna Birr, age 91, passed away peacefully at home on September 11, 2022, surrounded by her family and God. She loved God fully and reverently and lived her joyful life shining and sharing His great love. And now she is with Him for eternity through her faith in Jesus, to Whom she committed her life and made Him Lord of all! Although we will miss her very much, we take great comfort in one of her favorite Bible verses from 2 Corinthians 5:8 which proclaims: “To be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord!” Oh, glorious day!
LaDonna was born on March 7, 1931, in Nebraska during the depression years and was the 10th of 12 children of Fred and Marie Rehn. Her family life was centered around home and church. She knew her parents loved the Lord and loved each other. She thanked and praised God for their example as it helped her become aware of God’s great love for her. That love and trust in the Lord was put to the test during the devastating Dust Bowl years which prompted her parents to load the kids and their sparse possessions into the family station wagon and head north to Chase, Wisconsin and start over. God provided for their needs and led them to a little country church where LaDonna, at age 8, heard a powerful message on heaven and hell. She knew she would definitely prefer heaven and prayed to Christ to save her. He sure did! She loved reading her Bible and memorizing Scriptures and singing beautiful hymns as her young faith grew with each passing year.
Ladonna couldn’t wait to get into Youth Group. She attended Youth for Christ rallies at the public school and was greatly blessed by them. Thank goodness she didn’t skip these gatherings because it was there she started dating a handsome young man named Robert Birr. Their courtship continued long distance as Ladonna got her teaching certificate and Robert completed college. Then let the fun begin! Ladonna radiated as she told the stories of her and Robert getting married and moving into a small, one-room apartment at Michigan State University for three years, where he completed his graduate and doctorate degree in Veterinary Medicine and she taught first grade. What good times.
Next, they moved to Pulaski, Wisconsin and started their family. How she loved her boys: Dan, Tim, BJ and Steve! The memories will last a lifetime of all the joys at her children’s and grandchildren’s sporting events, hunting adventures and the beautiful cabin on Bass Lake. LaDonna and Bob lost one dear son, little Mark, after his brief life of 14 hours. What heartache. But Ladonna was one to always look for the good in even difficult situations. She describes that dark experience as helping her and Bob to grow closer to each other and the Lord. What a woman of faith.
Bob and LaDonna were charter members of Bay City Baptist Church in Green Bay. She loved her church! Her journals were filled with so many joys from this beautiful church family. Ladonna sang in choir and taught Sunday School right up to age 90. Oh, to think of how God used this dear woman who committed her life to Him so long ago to touch so many little ones with God’s great love. Amazing. Their home was open to many missionaries and gatherings of friends to love, laugh and sometimes even be caught by her legendary vice grip on your elbow when she got too worked up watching sports.
LaDonna is survived by her sons: Dan (Roberta), Tim (Jane), BJ (special friend, Shelly) and Steve (Carrie) who faithfully served her right up to the end and her peaceful passing at home. She also poured her love upon her dear grandchildren: Jennelle (Jason), Ben (Haley), Andrew (Kim), Keith, Cody (fiancée, Makenna), Riley, Caden, Taylor, Ashton; eleven great grandchildren; and her brother, Chuck Rehn.
LaDonna was preceded in death by her husband Robert; son, Mark; her brothers: Maurice, Carroll, Theron, Donald, Harvey and Oliver; her sisters: Gladys, Ruby, Phyllis and Priscilla. May her legacy of faith in the Lord and a life fully committed to Him live on strongly through all these she leaves behind.
Friends may share condolences at Bay City Baptist Church, 1840 Bond Street, Green Bay, on Saturday, September 17, from 9am until the time of the funeral service at 11am with Pastor Paul Brown officiating. Interment will be in the Town of Morgan Cemetery, Morgan.
Online condolences may be expressed at www.marnochafuneralhome.com
The family would like to extend their sincere appreciation for all the prayers and love and support that was poured out on LaDonna. Thank you so much! And big thanks to Linda M, Linda V, Caryl, Riley, Carol V. and the Heartland Hospice nurses who served her so well.
LaDonna’s weathered note in her very well-read Bible summarizes her beautiful life by saying in her own words, “I could tell you so much more of the Lord’s faithfulness to me. I just cannot thank and praise Him enough for His goodness.” Amen, dear Sister, Amen!