Donna Paulette McDougall (Ogonowski)
August 23, 1946 – September 26, 2019
Sadly, but peacefully, Donna passed away on Thursday, September 26, 2019 at St. Boniface Hospital. Bravely and with determination, Donna faced the news of her brain cancer. Her strong spirit allowed her to spend precious time with family and friends over the past 6 weeks. With the kind and genuine care of the palliative care team and staff, Donna passed comfortably to her new life beyond, where she will be greeted lovingly by all her pets, waiting for her at the Rainbow Bridge.
Donna was born in Winnipeg on August 23, 1946, the second daughter of Walter and Stella Ogonowski. She grew up in Fort Garry, attending schools at St. Ignatius, St. Mary’s, St. Maurice and Vincent Massey School.
In her younger days, Donna was an avid baseball player and enthusiast. She started her working career, as a Free Press Paper carrier. At age 18, she began summer employment at the Gordon Down Towner Hotel, where she met her life partner and soul mate, Stewart Mark, McDougall. Donna and Mark married on August 27, 1966, honouring 53 years of marriage.
After working at her mother’s business at Park Cleaners and Tailors, Donna joined the staff at Victoria General Hospital as a communications clerk in 1971, completing 33 years of faithful service until her retirement in 2004. During her career at the Vic, she gained another family of close friends, doctors, nurses, aids, and served as the President and steward for the MGEU local. She was a strong advocate for workers and took her responsibilities with dedication, honour and gained the trust of many fellow employees.
Over these many years, Donna formed strong friendships that lead to sharing the joys of gardening, numerous crafts, such as cake decorating, pottery, sewing, and water color and acrylic painting, sharing many of these talents and creations with family and friends on special occasions. She loved a wide range of music and was a nimble dancer. During her hospital stay, she was comforted by music which played continuously in her room. She shared this joy of music with Mark as many songs had special meaning for both of them.
As well as her many talents, Donna had a quick wit, a great sense of humour and enjoyed sparing with nephews who admitted, graciously, “she was always right”. Donna followed local, provincial, national and international affairs with great passion and often called politicians to share her opinions. She made sure she was heard and held them accountable.
Donna and Mark enjoyed many springs, summers and falls at Spruce Sands in their trailer. They travelled across Canada, and especially enjoyed the train trip to Vancouver. A special memory was a cruise when their ship had to rescue passengers from another ship which had a fire.
Donna was a very thoughtful and generous favourite Aunt, who would have a keen eye for a unique gift for each niece and nephew. She supported many charitable organizations and had a soft heart for the less fortunate. She contributed privately and humbly, never seeking recognition. Her prayers for others were frequent, passionate and sincere as she had a very strong belief in the power of prayer. Her strong faith guided her throughout her entire life.
One of Donna’s greatest gifts was her love of animals, her many pets, large and small creatures, fish, turtles (Sam & Ella), birds, butterflies, especially the geese and ducks on the pond near her home. Many creatures enjoyed Donna’s sanctuary in her yard and would often rush to greet her as soon as she appeared in her yard. Donna rescued many creatures, and they returned to show their love and gratitude every season. Donna was very humbly honoured to be acknowledged by the Wildlife Haven Rehabilitation Center for her rescue of several animals, most recently by her precious Bella, a Canada Goose.
Her wonderful back yard garden, with all her wonderful flowers, plants, vegetables, was like walking into Disney World with all the creatures, like Bambi, Thumper, Pepi Le Phew, raccoons, and delighted in her purple martin house/family who kept the mosquito populations at bay. She loved the Disney Land creatures and enjoyed many collectibles.
Donna is predeceased by her father Walter; her mother Stella; and sister Darcy; and brother in law Pat Chomyshen, brother in law Bob McDougall. She is survived by her husband Mark; brother Grant Ogonowski (Margaret); sister in law Gail Halldorson; nieces Heather Cybulski (Greg & Aaron & Brandy), Randine Chomyshen, Jennifer Boutilier (Keith & Parks), Sharon (Greg Balla, Dan & Ben), and Mark Halldorson (Allison); nephews Eldon Chomyshen (Monique, Brendan, Michelle & Declan, Kaitlyn), Murray Chomyshen, and Ryan Ogonowski (Christine, Lauren, Desi , Zoey, & Isla).
Funeral Mass will be held on Thursday, October 3, 2019 at 11:00 am at St. Ignatius Roman Catholic Church, 255 Stafford Street.
Donna valued and loved her dear friends, Ann and Georgina, who were by her side through thick and thin over the years. She appreciated the many visits from friends during her time at St. B. Mark is grateful for the love and support during these past few weeks. A Special thank you to Maggie for the music, to Lucy, the St. B Service dog, who visited Donna.
The family wishes to express sincere thank you to the Palliative Care Team, the doctors, nurses, aides on E5 at St Boniface Hospital. A special thank you to Kelly, Leslie (Pastoral Care) for supporting the family during this difficult time.
Flowers are gratefully declined. Donna would love a flower, or a plant that brings a special memory to be planted in her name or a charitable donation the Wildlife Haven Rehabilitation Centre, CNIB Guide Dogs (Puppy Sponsorship).
- Funeral Mass Thursday, October 3, 2019
Donna Paulette McDougall (Ogonowski)
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October 1, 2019
Mark, so sorry to read of Donna's passing. How much we shared together on Point West Dr. Our dogs, chasing each other between the fence, the purple martin houses and how concerned Donna was if anything happened to one of the birds. Gisele & I enjoyed all the talks we had with you guys outside. I enjoyed Donna's determination when she set out to do something in the yard, and telling you how to do it! You were great neighbours. Take care of yourself Mark, I still think of you guys often.