Donna (Pedersen) Nikolai passed away peacefully on June 3, 2023. She was born on May
5,1932 in Stratford, WI to Hans and Lillian Pedersen. She was preceded in death by her
husband Donald; sister, Mabel, and son-in-law Dale Strasser.
She attended a 1 room school house for her primary education and graduated from Stratford
High school as class valedictorian.
Donna grew up during the depression and WWll, learning to keep almost everything because it
might be needed in the future. She also developed a love of planes and met her future husband
Donald Nikolai, while participating in the Civil Air Patrol at the Wausau WI airport. They married
in 1953 and welcome a son and 3 daughters to their family. They lived in Wausau and moved to
Merrill in 1965. Donna was a homemaker who helped at times at her husband’s business,
Merrill Electric Motors, later Nikolai Electric. She was a Cub Scout and Girl Scout leader.
Gardening was a great passion of hers, especially growing flowers. Pansy’s were her favorite.
After her husband passed in 1990, she moved back to Wausau and worked at the deli counter
at 29 Super, IGA, and Trigs grocery stores. She enjoyed getting out and meeting people. She
later moved to De Pere to be closer to her daughter Judy. She lived at Nicolet Terrace
apartments and continued her love of gardening there with the raised bed garden provided for
the residents. She grew an abundance of tomatoes and cucumbers. She also enjoyed taking
care of some of the flower beds around the building. Reading was another passion of hers.
She is survived by her children, Kenneth Nikolai, Linda (Richard) Littman, Shirley Strasser, Judy
Buresh and 4 grandchildren.
We thank Alpha Senior Concepts and Memory Hospice for the wonderful care they provided
her in her last days there. We will be forever grateful.