Donna Isele (April 8, 2022)

It is with profound sadness that we announce the passing of our beloved mother, Donna Isele, on April 8, 2022 at the age of 69. Mom peacefully left us to be with her beloved husband Klaus, with whom she enjoyed 50 years of marriage. She was surrounded by her family when the angels came to take her.

Mom grew up on the family farm northwest of Spirit River, Alberta. After graduating from Spirit River Secondary in 1971, she met her future husband Klaus, and they were married on February 18th, 1972. Work took the newly married couple to British Columbia where they started their family. Their daughter Diane was born in Chilliwack and their son Darren, in Hope. Eventually, the rural lifestyle they both enjoyed as kids drew them back to Alberta, and they bought the family farm from mom’s parents, Anthony and Lena Shewchuk. It is here they completed their family with the arrival of their second son, Kalvin. Together, the couple worked the land until their retirement took them to Lethbridge in 2017.

Mom was a bright light in the communities in which she lived. She loved to laugh, joke, and get together with friends and family. She was one of those people that just drew others to her. Wherever she went she made lifelong friends, and she never neglected to keep in touch with them. She always had a pot of coffee on and was ready when the company stopped in for a chat. Her home was open to everyone, and her hospitality made them feel important.

She loved the outdoors and the time spent tending to her flower beds and vegetable garden. She had a natural green thumb and an abundant garden she generously shared with others. Mom also had a knack for growing the biggest, brightest sunflowers. Like her sunflowers, mom’s bright light, love, and laughter will forever fill our hearts with joy.

Mom was a hard-working, dedicated woman who enjoyed working both on and off the farm. She was a tireless companion for dad and eagerly helped with anything farm-related, such as handling livestock, bringing lunches and suppers out to the field (always right on time), picking stones, and moving equipment from one field to the next. She could keep up with the most seasoned farmers when it came to butchering, driving grain trucks, tractors, and the combine. She was often called upon for the skills she had learned at an early age from working alongside her parents on the homestead.

Mom was proud to be a farm wife, but also loved the work she did outside the home to help support our family. Over the years she shared fond memories of her work at Moonshine Lake, the Post Office, working alongside dad at the community arena, and the catering events she did with Josie. Mom and dad were both active volunteers in their communities and happily volunteered their time when it was needed. They were especially proud of their commitment to the Blueberry Fire Department and were thrilled when they received The Alberta Emergency Services Medal for their 12 years of service.

Mom was an incredible cook, baker, and canner. Many good memories were made in the kitchen and around her dinner table with family and friends. She and dad never had any trouble finding help on the farm, as everyone always knew they would have plenty of homemade delicious food to eat while they were there to work. For many years leading up to her passing, she collected a large library of cookbooks and recipes received from family and friends. These recipes will be shared for generations to come.

Mom loved to travel and looked forward to meeting up with family and friends for some great camping adventures. Yuma was a favorite destination for mom & dad, where they spent several winter months enjoying the sunshine, playing cards, and catching up with lifelong friends from the farm. After many years of work and travel, retirement led mom and dad to Lethbridge where they would spend the remainder of their years enjoying time with their family and friends. Together they attended many fun events at the hall within Parkbridge Estates and enjoyed spending time with their card clubs, the camping group, and the many friends they made while residing in Lethbridge. They truly cherished their weekly card games, the family suppers, and making lefsa with the Isele siblings.

Baba’s grandkids were her heart and joy and she embraced every moment with them. Visits from Baba and time spent at the family farm were very special for all of them. She will be fondly remembered for her smile that always lit up the room when her grandkids and fur babies were nearby, and the funny doodles and drawings she sent in her cards and letters. Mom was extremely proud of her children and grandchildren and always reminded us in a very personal way, how much we each meant to her. The lessons she instilled in all of us will be cherished forever.

Donna will be sadly missed by her children and grandchildren: Diane (Randy), Kohnor and Spenser; Darren (Kristi) and Jensen; and Kalvin (Melanie) and their fur babies, Schatzie and Squeakers; brothers Hans (Carol), Alfred (Milly) and his sister Helga, and her many nieces and nephews.

Donna was predeceased by her beloved husband Klaus, her parents Tony and Lena Shewchuk, brother Jim Shewchuk, in-laws Otto and Olga Isele, and brother-in-law Ozzie Ronningen.

Our family would like to extend a special thank you to the Isele siblings, Hans (Carol), Alfred (Millie), and Helga for their friendship, support, and the care given to both our parents over the last five years. We would also like to thank friends and family for the wonderful meals and the unwavering support provided to our family. We will be forever grateful for everyone’s compassion and kindness during this very difficult time.

A joint Celebration of Life will be held in honor of Donna and Klaus Isele at the SPIRIT RIVER CENTENNIAL HALL, 4812-44 Ave., Spirit River, AB on Friday, July 15th, 2022 from 10:30 A.M.-1:00 P.M.

We invite everyone to join us for an open house get-together to celebrate the couple’s life together, and to share favorite stories and memories of Donna and Klaus.

Service and interment of ashes to follow at Devale Cemetery at 2:00 P.M.

To send a condolence, please visit www.cornerstonefuneralhome.com.