Cover photo for Donna Christen's Obituary
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1946 Donna 2021

Donna Christen

November 18, 1946 — December 8, 2021

Donna Christen of Merna, Nebraska

November 18, 1946 – December 8, 2021

Donna Rae (Ketterl) Christen of Merna, NE passed away on December 8, 2021, at the age of 75. Donna was born on November 18, 1946, in Oberlin, KS to Lester and Ruth (Wolfram) Ketterl. She grew up on a farm near Herndon, KS and graduated from Herndon High School in 1964. Donna attended Brown Mackie Business College in Salina, KS, and worked for a short time in Garden City, KS prior to working for McCook Public Power in Nebraska. It was during this time that Donna met and married the love of her life, Mike Christen, on July 26th, 1968, in Herndon, KS.

After residing in Oklahoma, Donna and Mike moved to Broken Bow, and then onto Merna, NE where they continued to improve their wonderful home over the years and raise their two children, Darrell and Michelle.  Donna worked hard and enjoyed her bustling daycare business where she played “grandma” to dozens of area children.  She was deeply loved by local families and was always willing to lend a hand and take care of anyone’s kids in a pinch.

Upon retirement, Donna kept extremely busy by helping with various events and also with her crocheting and quilting projects.  Donna always enjoyed working in the yard, keeping her firewood stocked for a toasty warm home, and playing intense card games with all her friends and club members.

Donna was a big fan of Anselmo-Merna and the surrounding local community.  She followed many of her prior babysitting kids through their high-school sports careers.  She enjoyed traveling with Mike, visiting with friends and family, and creating smiles on the faces of her grandchildren.

Donna Christen was preceded in death by her parents Lester and Ruth Ketterl, and husband Mike Christen.  She is survived by her son Darrell (Shannon) Christen of Hays, KS; her daughter Michelle (Lonnie) Burklund of Waverly, NE; grandchildren Porter, Delanie, Tate Burklund; Kaitlyn Christen; Xavier James; Chloe Christen; and brother Bernie (Laurie) Ketterl.

Memorials are suggested in lieu of flowers to the Anselmo-Merna Alumni Scholarship Foundation.

Funeral services for Donna Christen age 75 of Merna, NE will be held on Monday, December 13, 2021 at 2:00 PM at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Broken Bow with Father Jim Hunt officiating. Burial will be in the St. Anselm’s Catholic Cemetery at Anselmo, NE. Visitation will be held on Sunday, December 12, 1:00 to 7:00 pm with family greeting 5:00 to 7:00 pm at Govier Bros. Mortuary. A rosary service will follow beginning at 7 PM. Govier Brothers Mortuary are in charge of arrangements. An online guest book may be signed at


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