Barbara A. Donahue, 84, of Whitewater, WI passed away surrounded by her family on Saturday, March 6, 2021 at Agrace Hospice Center in Janesville, WI.
Barbara was born on July 2, 1936 in Elgin, IL the daughter of Lester and Anna (Ewert) Gannon. She grew up in Elgin and attended St. Joseph’s Catholic School. Barbara’s Catholic faith was a major part of her life, therefore, she joined the Franciscan Sisters of Joliet, IL Convent. While at the convent, she began writing letters to a young man, Thomas Donahue, who was serving in the Korean War. Barbara and Thomas became very fond of each other and on April 12, 1958 the two were married at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Elgin. God blessed their union with four loving daughters: Anna, Margaret, Jeanne, and Rita. In 1962, Barbara and Thomas moved their family to Whitewater, WI to farm and the two would remain there to raise their family. Many great times were had with family and friends visiting the farm. There was always an open door policy. Barbara was a devoted mother and grandmother, attending as many events of her grandchildren as possible. One of her greatest joys in life was her grandchildren and great-granddaughter. Barbara was a gentle soul who loved to take care of people, so being a preschool teacher and nursing assistant was something she was very proud of. For Barbara, faith and family were the two most important things in her life. She was a fantastic wife and mother and a devoted member of St. Mary’s Catholic Church. She kept a large garden with vegetables and many types of flowers and enjoyed that very much. She also stayed involved in her daughter’s activities as a 4-H leader, as well as, helping groom her daughter’s horses for their various shows. She was an avid sports fan and enjoyed attending and cheering on her Packers, Badgers, Bucks, and Marquette Golden Eagles. Barbara had a heart for others and was always concerned with the needs of those around her. Even during her final days, she was checking in on her family to make sure they were taken care of. Barbara will be remembered fondly by all who she touched with her positive spirit, deep faith, and that unforgettable twinkle in her eye. Heaven has gained a beautiful and very special angel.
She is survived by: three loving daughters, Anna Donahue, Margaret Donahue, and Rita (Paul) Ristow; seven grandchildren, Matthew (Alyssa) Rasmussen, Stephanie (Anthony Mattice) Jenson, Megan (Nathan) Galston, Thomas (Katie Gerls) Jenson, Jonathan Ristow, Kelly Ristow, and Ryan Ristow; one great-granddaughter, Layla Rasmussen; and four siblings, Robert (Billie) Gannon, Eugene (Peg) Gannon, Michael (Teresa) Gannon, and Mary (Vern) Wilczyk. She is also survived by a number of nieces, nephews, other relatives, and friends.
She is preceded in death by: her parents, her loving husband of 49 years, Thomas Donahue; and her dear daughter and son-in-law, Jeanne and Shawn Spoo.
The family would like to extend a special thank you to her personal caregivers and the staff of Agrace Hospice for their loving care.
A Visitation will be held from 6:00PM until 8:00PM on Friday, March 12, 2021 at the Gibson Family Funeral Home in Palmyra, WI (320 W. Main St. Palmyra, WI 53156). A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 11:00AM on Saturday, March 13, 2021 at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Palmyra, WI. Fr. Mariadas Bekala will officiate the mass. Visitation will be held on Saturday from 10:00AM until the time of mass at the church. Barbara will be laid to rest in St. Mary’s Catholic Cemetery in Palmyra, WI immediately following the service.
Gibson Family Funeral Homes of Palmyra & Eagle, WI is serving the family. To place an online condolence please visit gibsonfuneral.com
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