Donna Joan Hughes, 85, of Pardeeville, passed away peacefully at her daughter’s home April 27, 2020. She fought a courageous battle with Parkinson’s Disease.
Donna was born in Madison, Wisconsin to Ray and Mildred (nee Hermanson) Domini. She was preceded in death by her former husband Michael. She was a beloved mother to her five children, Bridget (Randy) Rhode of Portage, Wisconsin, Maura (Jim) Daniels of LaValle, Wisconsin, Thomas (Melissa) Hughes of Shorewood, Wisconsin, Kara (Ryrie) Pellaton of Wilmette, Illinois and William (Kim) Hughes of Pewaukee, Wisconsin. She was a loving grandmother to Tara Rhode, Megan Harris, Carly and Patrick Mattefs, Isabelle and Ava Hughes, Finola, Delaney, Brigid, and Liam Hughes, Rhys and Thomas Pellaton. She adored her two great grandsons, Henrik and Rody Harris. She will be greatly missed by her sister, Darlene Felicijan of Rio, WI, her many nieces and nephews and her good friends.
Donna was a vivacious woman who had more strength than her small frame could contain. She was a loaded spring, full of love and energy. “Zoom” was her nickname to her good friends. To attempt to sum her up in a few paragraphs is impossible. She was the best mother, grandmother, and great grandmother as she wrapped all in her love. Anyone who spent time in her home felt welcome and comfortable. She supported her family in every possible way; a cheerleader attending every event, a babysitter at a moment’s notice, a mender of clothing, a giver of pep talks, and a baker and bringer of cookies and pies. Donna loved to host holiday dinners for her large family and their friends. She loved a dirty joke and a brandy old fashioned press with two olives. She liked playing cards, especially euchre for small stakes, and thoroughly enjoyed winning. She was proud of her Norwegian heritage, making lefse for annual lutefisk dinners with good friends and neighbors, Jan and Bob Bostad.
She had an adventurous spirit and liked to be ‘on the go.’ She enjoyed drives on local country roads as well as trips to Norway, Hawaii, Washington, Arizona, Florida, New York, and anywhere her friends and family wanted to go. Her ‘squad’ liked to hit the road and take in theater shows across the Midwest. At age 68, after paddling down the Colorado River and camping for 5 days, she hiked 7 miles out of the Grand Canyon and enjoyed every minute.
Donna was active in her community as a parishioner of St. Mary’s Catholic Church (St. Faustina Parish), donating her time for many decades for church events, an election poll-worker and a Board Member and Treasurer of Wyocena Helping Hands Food Pantry. She was part of the high flying 1969 National Champion Curling quartet with Eleanor Miller, Ruth Wolf, and Jeanette Brant.
Donna spent her early years in Wisconsin and Minnesota before graduating from high school in Sunnyside, Washington. She started working at a bank during high school and continued her career in banking at First National Bank in Portage after her five children were in school. She transitioned to the IRS and then the U.S. Dept. of Justice in Madison where she had a long tenure and eventually retired at age 70. She took great pride in her work and was valued by her co-workers for her hard work and efficiency as well as her kindness and baked goods.
At the end of the day, the mark of a great person is the love of their family. Donna left this world loved dearly by her family. Her family would like to thank the Columbia Health Care Center for the kind and compassionate care they gave Donna over the past few years. A private Catholic mass and burial will take place and a Celebration of Life will be scheduled in the future. In lieu of flowers donations can be made in Donna’s honor to the Wyocena Helping Hands Food Pantry, the Columbia Health Care Center in Wyocena, or The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research.
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