Cover photo for Donna L. Gewecke's Obituary
Donna L. Gewecke Profile Photo
1934 Donna 2022

Donna L. Gewecke

August 19, 1934 — January 8, 2022

Donna Lucille (Sheeks) Gewecke, 87, passed January 8, 2022, in Grand Island. A Celebration of Life will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday, April 23, 2022, at Apfel Funeral Home in Wood River.

Donna was born on August 19, 1934, to James & Ellen (Rounds) Sheeks, at home in Wood River. She was the eldest with three brothers. While in high school she was in the violin orchestra and a majorette for the marching band. Donna loved spending summers in Kimbell, NE with Aunt Linda and Uncle Herby on the farm. She attended Kearney State College up to her junior year & then to summer school while teaching at One-Room country schools in Merrick & Hall County and district 30, before it became Engleman school. She loved walking the halls at Engleman during her grandkid’s soup/supper fundraisers, reminiscing about her years there.

Donna married Gerald (Jerry) Walter Gewecke on June 22, 1953, at Wood River’s Presbyterian church, but signed the paperwork on June 21, 1953, and were always saying they had two wedding days. From this union 3 children were born; Valarie Klein of Las Vegas, NV; Craig (Donna) Gewecke of Gillette, WY; and Vickie (Jamie) Sich of Chapman, NE. Which generated 8 grandchildren, 6 having spouses, 15 great grandchildren, and 2 great-great grandchildren.

She loved playing the piano, organ, and violin, her singing was a passion which she shared in the church choir and the Grand Island City Singers. Elvis Presley was her all-time favorite entertainer-singer. Her day of passing was on Elvis’s birthday and now she can sing with him. Many of her grandchildren and in-law grandchildren also carry the passion for music in all forms. You could count on her to make the BEST homemade bread as it never lasted long. Along with bread, her famous marshmallow haystacks during Halloween were always a hit. Donna & Jerry took the family camping, boating, and waterskiing on countless weekends. They had a tribe of families congregating with them at the lakes, along with many summer vacations. Donna was a rebel when riding her white Honda Dream motorcycle, it was quite a sight seeing her fly down the highway. She spent hours sewing clothes, even sewing her oldest daughter, Valarie’s, wedding dress. Donna loved having family near during the holidays and living next door to her parents’ home, it always made seeing family wonderfully easy.

She was a Girl Scout leader, a Wood River City Council member, and Admiral in the Nebraska Navy, a Royal Neighbors of America member, and a secretary/treasurer/accountant for Gewecke Electric. Donna & Jerry traveled through many states whether it was for vacations, trap shoots, a grandson’s college football games, grandkids school events, or just to go somewhere new.

Those left to cherish her life are her children and their families, brothers; James “Jim” Sheeks of Cairo, Delbert Sheeks of Alda, and for a short while her middle brother Dale Sr. Sheeks (who passed away Jan. 25, 2022), and many nieces and nephews.

Donna was preceded in death by her husband Jerry who passed on Nov. 21, 2016; parents, Jim & Ellen; parents in-laws, Walter & Vera Gewecke; brother & sister in-law, Dale Sr. & Edith Gewecke; a nephew, and many cherished aunts and uncles.


To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Donna L. Gewecke, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

celebration of life

Saturday, April 23, 2022

Starts at 10:00 am (Central time)

Apfel Funeral Home - Wood River

411 West 11th Street, Wood River, NE 68883

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