Cover photo for Miriam Ruth Donaker Behrens's Obituary
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1940 Miriam 2024

Miriam Ruth Donaker Behrens

June 1, 1940 — February 24, 2024

George, Iowa 

Miriam Donaker Behrens age 83, of George, Iowa, died Saturday, February 24, 2024, at Sanford Hospital in Sioux Falls, SD.

Visitation will be held on Tuesday, February 27th from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the Jurrens Funeral Home in George, Iowa.

Funeral service will be at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, February 28th at the Lyon County First Presbyterian Church, rural George, with Pastor Verlyn Netten officiating.  

Burial will follow in the Lyon County First Presbyterian Cemetery, rural George.

Miriam Ruth Schutte Donaker Behrens was born June 1, 1940, in Sibley, Iowa to Theodore and Olive (Hayenga) Schutte.   She first attended country school and then graduated from Sibley High School in 1958.  She attended Northwestern College in Orange City where she earned her elementary education degree.

On Thanksgiving Day, November 23, 1961, she married John E. Donaker at Trinity Reformed Church in Sibley, Iowa. Together they made their home on the family farm near George. They were blessed with two children: son, John M. and daughter, Laura.

Miriam taught first and second graders for nearly 30 years, mostly in Sibley.  She truly loved teaching and always said first graders were her favorites as they were "hungry to learn."

On Feb 28, 1984, Miriam lost her husband, John. Life as a widow wasn’t easy for her; as she would always say, "It’s a couple's world." On December 26, 1990, she married Harley Behrens.  Together they had a good life, and she missed him dearly after his passing in 2017. 

The ABSOLUTE joy of Miriam's life were her 3 grandchildren, John Thomas, Emily (Emmy), and Joel.  She loved when they would stop in for a visit to share what was new with them.  She was so grateful that she was able to see them grow up and become good adults. 

Miriam was a member of Lyon County First Presbyterian Church.  Miriam loved her church and her church family.  She was active in Dorcas Society and enjoyed many afternoons quilting with the church ladies.

Miriam will be remembered for many talents that she shared with others. She loved doing calligraphy on notes and placecards and will be fondly remembered for her pies and peanut brittle.

Grateful for her life and love are her son, John and wife Kristi Donaker of George, daughter, Laura and husband Shane McMahon of Flowery Branch, Georgia; grandson John T. Donaker, granddaughter Emily Donaker, grandson Joel Donaker; sister-in-law Eva Schutte of Rushmore, MN; brother Ted (Eileen) Schutte of Sibley; sister Sue (Gregg) Korver of Orange City, and many nieces and nephews.

Miriam was preceded in death by her parents, two husbands, John and Harley,  brother Dan, sister Mavis, sisters-in-law Erma Grossnickle and Kathy Schutte, and niece Mandy (Schutte) Van Gelder.

Blessed be her memory.

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Service Schedule

Past Services


Tuesday, February 27, 2024

5:30 - 7:30 pm (Central time)

Jurrens Funeral Home of George

300 East Dakota Avenue, George, IA 51237

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Funeral Service

Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Starts at 10:30 am (Central time)

Lyon County First Presbyterian Church

4140 230th Street, George, IA 51237

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


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