Donna Beth Saathoff, 83, of Sterling died Thursday evening, Dec. 15, 2016, at Independence House in Lincoln. 
She was born March 13, 1933, at rural Steinauer. 
She attended St. Peter Elementary School at Elk Creek before moving to the Sterling area. 
She attended high school in Sterling and graduated in 1950. 
She then attended Midland College from 1950 -1952.   
Donna was accepted at Bryan School of Nursing and attended there from 1953 – 1955. 
She married Merlyn Saathoff on Oct. 9, 1955, at the Emmanuel Lutheran Church west of Sterling. 
After graduation from Bryan, Donna worked at a doctor’s office, the Tecumseh hospital, Education Service Unit 4 as a traveling school nurse, a nursing home in Nebraska City, Beatrice State Developmental Center and Beatrice Community Hospital in the psychiatric area. 
While there, she took classes in psychiatry and became one of the first nurses in Nebraska to be a registered psychiatric nurse. 
Her last position was at Lincoln General Hospital. 
She helped develop their pschiatric program, served as a triage nurse and was featured in the Lincoln General Psychiatric literature. 
She was a member of St. John Lutheran Church, Red Hat Society, Legion Auxiliary all of Sterling and VFW Auxilary of Adams.  
She collected nativity scenes and enjoyed being with her grandchildren and helping others.
Survivors include her husband, Merlyn of Sterling; one son, Steve Saathoff and wife Wendy of Centennial Colo.; one daughter, Kathy Heise and husband Ted of Bloomington, Ind.; one daughter-in-law, Laurie Saathoff of Sterling; eight grandchildren, Julie, Andy Saathoff and fiancée K.T. Salberg and Jake Saathoff and wife McKenzie, Aaron Robinson and wife Nikki Flores, Robert Heise and wife Claudia and Michael Heise and wife Jola Pasku, Stephanie and Tessa Saathoff; two great-grandchildren, Eliot Heise and Brock Saathoff; one sister, Winifred Ellis and husband Charles of Beatrice; nieces and nephews. 
She was preceded in death by her parents, Theodore and Esther Wolff Bartels; her son Paul Saathoff, who died March 18, 2013; her grandson Luke Saathoff, who died Jan. 4, 2007.
Funeral services were to be held at 10:30 a.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 20, 2016, at St. John Lutheran Church of Sterling with Pastor Steve Chellew officiating. 
A family prayer service was to be held at 10:15 a.m. in the fellowship room of the church on Tuesday. 
Burial was to be in the North St. John Lutheran Cemetery of rural Sterling.   
In lieu of flowers, a memorial has been established to the family’s choice with Shannon and Erma Hazen in charge.  
The body was to lie in state at the Zink-Fox Funeral Home of Sterling from noon Sunday until 8 p.m. Monday and at the church one hour preceding the services on Tuesday.  
The family was to meet and greet friends and other relatives from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Monday at Zink-Fox Funeral Home. 
A guestbook for signatures and messages of condolence is available online at www.foxfuneralhome. net. 
Zink-Fox Funeral Home of Sterling in charge of arrangements.