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Born: Apr 04, 1935
Date of Passing: Jan 14, 2021Send Flowers to the Family Offer Condolences or Memory
SCHMALL: Donna Fay Schmall nee Steppler passed away at the Neepawa hospital on Thursday January 14, 2021 after a lengthy struggle with Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis. Donna leaves to cherish her memory, her husband of 61+ years, Jim Schmall, along with her four children, Don Schmall (Susan), Val Hutsal (Greg), Jan (Bob) and Coreen Lee, and her nine grandchildren: Jillian Miller (Erik), Adrienne, Emma, Carmen, Alexa, Hannah, Chloe, Carson, Lindsay and her great-grandchildren Rhett and Jackson Miller. She is survived by her sisters Wilma Gill and Myrna Lalonde (Leo) and many nieces and nephews. She's predeceased by her parents Charlie and Jean Steppler, sister Marjorie and brother-in-law Don Matheson and their children Barb Vinnell and James Matheson, brother-in-law Homer Gill and nephew Rodney Gill, in-laws Fred and Janet Schmall, Edith and Steve Dobchuk, and Isabel and Jeanette Schmall. Donna was born in Neepawa, MB on May 4, 1935, the third daughter of Charlie's four angels. She attended school in Neepawa and worked at Robertson's Grocery Store after school and on Saturdays. She also babysat and worked at Fenwicks Department Store doing the books before beginning her career with the Bank of Montreal. Donna met Jim, the love of her life, at a Saturday night dance at the Arcade in Neepawa and they were later married on April 25, 1959. She loved the outdoors and spent many summer weekends camping with family and friends at regional ball tournaments, but her favourite place to visit was Clear Lake. It was introduced to her by her parents and soon became her summer destination which later turned into a year-round retreat when they built their cabin. As a child she enjoyed picnics with her relatives at Riverbend Park and Big Valley, which she later shared with her children and grandchildren. Donna was very interested in sports her entire life and was a fierce competitor and fan/cheerleader. Two of her favourite teams were the Toronto Blue Jays and the Winnipeg Jets. She was a 5-pin championship bowler and represented Manitoba twice in the Western Canadian finals in Vancouver and Winnipeg. Curling was her winter passion on and off the ice. She was a Grand Aggregate winner of the Neepawa Ladies Bonspiel on two occasions and enjoyed the many rural bonspiels and friendships that she developed. Donna and Jim also enjoyed 10 of the Silver Broom/World Curling Championships in Europe and North America. Donna loved to travel and spend time in the sun, and one of her highlight trips was their Mediterranean cruise. Donna loved a game of cards and enjoyed Elks Kinsman bingos and trips to Las Vegas. She always had a new game to teach her grandchildren and she loved to win! Donna was a devoted stay-at-home mother who spent countless hours following her children and grandchildren to their various activities and sporting events throughout Canada and the USA. She was a skilled seamstress and loved making clothes and costumes for her children. This love for clothes later turned into a part-time job at Marrs' Ladies Fashions which she enjoyed very much. Donna was very interested in community activities; was an active member of the Neepawa United Church, United Church Women, Neepawa Lily Festival and Fine Arts Festival. She was a past honoured Royal Lady of the Neepawa Royal Purple/Elks with 55 years of service and was presently on the Neepawa Elks Manor board of directors. Donna was a very kind and generous person and always found time to entertain family and friends and loved to meet friends for coffee or Saturday morning brunches. Her family will always cherish her baking skills but especially her secret pie recipes which were only shared with immediate family. Donna, Mom, Grandma: thank you for all that you have done for us! You were the strength and encouragement that held our family together and we're always there for us. May you rest in peace with our everlasting love until we meet again.If friends so wish, donations in Donna's memory may be made to the Manitoba Lung Association or the Beautiful Plains Community Foundation. A private family service has been held and a celebration of Donna's life will take place at a later date. The family would like to thank Dr. Brian Milligan and Dr. Brian Bookatz, Rev. Chad McCharles, and White's Funeral Home for their compassion and excellent care.
As published in Brandon Sun on Jan 23, 2021
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