Donna was raised in the New York/New Jersey area where she lived with her father and attended grade school. She moved to Wisconsin to attend Marquette University to receive the first of many degrees to follow later. She was known for her motorcycle and made lifelong friends in both places that she was still in contact with.
She returned to NJ where she became very involved in the horse racing community. It was also in NJ where she completed more degrees and had her daughter Shannon in 1981. Many including Shannon’s father told Donna she had created her match in Shannon and now she had to deal with it. Having two short statured mouthy firecrackers under the same roof wasn’t always peaceful, but the love was always there. Donna was very involved in all Shannon’s activities and even as a single mother always found a way. To this day, many of Shannon’s friends still refer to Donna as their other mother and have hours of hilarious stories to tell.
In the late 80’s Donna moved to Georgia where she began her career in Medical Management in various medical offices. It was also in Georgia where she had her son Travis in 1991. Travis was her easy child and the light of her life. Donna was always so proud of all his achievements in sports and school. She was often seen wearing pins with Travis’s sports photos and later in life wore her UGA gear with so much pride.
Eventually Donna met the love of her life, Ron, and the two of them went on a vacation to Montana. They loved everything about Montana and returned from that trip both married and property owners there. They continued to live in Georgia for the next two years or so while they had their home built in Montana and Shannon finished high school.
Ron, Donna and Travis finally moved for good to Stevensville, Montana in 2001 where Ron and Donna have lived happily ever since. Montana quickly became their home. They were welcomed into a community of wonderful people who became their second family. Ron and Donna established an electrical company, became volunteer firefighters and EMTs before retiring.
Donna was always a huge fan of the beach and specifically Mexico, where her father had moved to after he retired. Throughout her life she always tried to take family vacations to Mexico at least once per year. In retirement, she was able to go even more often. She and Ron also purchased motorhomes and began travelling mostly in the Pacific Northwest, but made a few multi-month motorhome trips to various parts of the country along with their dogs Cookie and Bling. While Shannon and Travis often joked back and forth about who the favorite child was between them, the true favorite child was unquestionably Bling. She also loved to spoil her “granddogs” Millie and Chloe and her “grandcat” Pucca. Ron and Donna were truly living their best life in retirement and the rest of the family was so happy for them.
Donna is survived by her husband Ron of Montana, her daughter Shannon and her husband Jeff in Georgia, son Travis in New York, stepsons Patrick and Brian in Georgia and her grandchildren that she adored: Daniel, Haley, Lily, Ryan and Tyler…and her second family she made and loved dearly in Montana.
A memorial service was held April 16, 2022 at the Stevensville Rural Fire District. A reception followed.
The family suggests memorials be made to the Bitterroot Humane Society. Condolences and memories may be shared with the family at www.whitesittfuneralhome.com.