Donna Smith, 85Donna Mae Swenson Smith was born in Minneapolis, Minn., on July 16, 1927, to Earl and Doris Baglien Swenson.
Donna Mae Swenson Smith was born in Minneapolis, Minn., on July 16, 1927, to Earl and Doris Baglien Swenson. At the age of 4, her family moved to Frederic, Wis. During her childhood, she was active in school, especially music, singing in the high school choir, the bobby-sox trio, and her church choir. After graduating from high school in 1946, she followed her music passion and enrolled in the Minneapolis College of Music. The following year, she transferred to Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, Minn., continuing her focus in music. She was a member of the choir and especially enjoyed touring with them. She was a member of the Sigma Delta Sorority, a cheerleader, and a queen candidate finalist in the Gustavus Adolphus, Santa Lucia queen pageant.
It was during her college years at Gustavus where she met and fell in love with the man of her dreams, David Malcolm Smith. They were married on June 14, 1950, and moved to David's hometown, River Falls, Wis. There, David began his 44-year banking career at his family's bank, the First National Bank of River Falls. Donna and Dave made River Falls their home and were blessed with five daughters.
While raising her girls, Donna was very active in the First Congregational Church. She was a choir member for more than 30 years, launched the children's choir and directed it, taught Bible school, and volunteered endlessly in the church's kitchen. She also co-chaired the campaign of Pastor Stan York's run for assemblyman, which was a success.
In the community, Donna was an active volunteer with projects involving children and education. She was part of a team that annually screened children for early detection of scoliosis with the River Falls School District, and worked many years at Kindergarten Roundup. In the 1970s, she actively worked to set up homes for Vietnam refugees and find families to adopt war orphans.
She was elected to the First National Bank's Board of Directors in 1972. After the sudden death of her husband, David, in August of 1994, she was elected as Board Chair. In 2009, and after 37 years of service, she stepped down and served as Chair Emeritus until her death.
Donna will be remembered fondly for her love of her church, family, and friends, her laughter, sense of humor, quick wit, and her love of River Falls. She will be most remembered for her apple pies and devotion to the Green Bay Packers.
She is survived by her five daughters, Patricia (Francis) Neir of Minneapolis, Sandra (Michael) Wurm of Mahtomedi, Minn., Polly (Mark) Stafford of Mahtomedi, Stephanie Smith of Woodbury, Minn., and Mary Grace Smith of San Francisco, Calif.; four grandchildren, Melissa Rae Wurm of San Diego, Calif., Christian David Edward Wurm of San Diego, Olivia Nancy Neir of West Hollywood, Calif., and Chloe Mae Smith of Woodbury, and step-grandchildren, Alex (Stacy) Neir of Denver, Colo., Cassandra (Michael) Morris of Maple Grove, Minn., Andrew Stafford of St. Paul, Minn., Mitchell Stafford of Mahtomedi; and her sister-in-law, Eunice Swenson of Turtle Lake, Wis.
She was preceded in death by her parents, Earl and Doris; brothers, Duane and Donald; and her husband and love of her life, David.
Funeral services for Donna Mae Smith will be 11 a.m. Thursday, March 29, at the First Congregational Church of River Falls. Interment: Greenwood Cemetery, River Falls. Visitation will be from 4-7 p.m. Wednesday at the Cashman Hill Funeral Home, River Falls, and for 1 hour prior to the service at the church on Thursday.
Memorials are preferred to the David and Donna Smith Memorial Fund, PO Box 784, River Falls, WI 54022.
To send an online condolence to the family, go to www.cashmanhillfuneralservice.com.
Cashman-Hill Funeral Home & Cremation Services, River Falls, is assisting the family with arrangements.
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