Donalda "Donna" Noreen Keller, 82, of Bozeman, passed away on July 26, 2012 at Spring Creek Memory Care Center. She was born at home, #9 Downing Street in Buffalo, N.Y. on April 29, 1930 to John and Mary (Stubeck) McDonald. Donna had two sisters, Ethel and Audrey. She was the youngest of John and Mary's three girls. Donna graduated from South Park High School and after graduation took a job at Loblaws Grocery where she took home $24.72 for a six-day/48-hour work week. It was at Loblaws where she met James McGeein. Donna and James were married on Feb. 26, 1949 at St. Martins in Buffalo, N.Y. The next years of Donna's life were filled with the jobs she loved most, being a wife, mother to their seven children and homemaker. Donna and James started their family in Buffalo and then moved to California where they made their home in Bellflower. Donna also pursued her lifelong interest in medicine, earning a medical transcription certification. In 1966, James passed away and Donna went to work at Gallatin Medical to support herself and her young family. Donna's friends from Gallatin remember her as loyal, helpful, always striving for perfection, good at whatever she did, professional and getting along well with everyone from the medical director to the night janitor.
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Shortly thereafter, Donna reunited with Leo Keller, an acquaintance from square dancing and father of three. Leo courted Donna and on May 30, 1968 they were married at Methodist Ministry in Downey, Calif. The marriage was also blessed at St. Simon and Jude in Huntington Beach, Calif. Leo and Donna made their home in La Palma, Calif. where they raised their family of 10 children. Together they purchased Ship & Shore Sheet Metal and successfully ran the business for the next 30 years. After retirement, they relocated from CA to Bozeman, to live on the Lazy K Ranch.
Donna was a lifelong learner always challenging herself and developing her interests and talents. She fostered her love of music through violin lessons as a young girl and taking up piano in her retirement. Donna had a true talent for decorating and creating a warm and welcoming home where she loved to entertain her family and friends. She collected many recipes over the years and was a phenomenal cook and hostess. Donna was also an incredible tole painter, a talent she mastered while in treatment for breast cancer; she was a 30-year survivor of this illness.
Together with Leo, she started an investment club and they were part of a group from Resurrection Parish who hosted the MSU students for a weekly lunch, affectionately called "Chunch" by the kids. Donna traveled to Europe, Morocco, Ireland and many wonderful and exciting destinations. But, her favorite trips were traveling with her husband in the front seat of his truck to visit their children, grandchildren, Iowa, New York and The Apple Harvest in the Pacific Northwest. Donna was a member of the Ancient Order of Hibernian Ladies and looked forward to their outings and time together. Donna's deepest love was for God and she exemplified this in her service as a Eucharistic Minister, giving her time to her church community and sitting in Eucharistic Adoration. Donna continued her spiritual development through study and retreats.
In her marriage to James McGeein, she had seven children, Ken McGeein of Laguna Woods, Calif.; Karyl (John) Mannelly of Minden, Nev.; Donna (Ed) Dickey of Corvalis, Ore.; Jill McGeein of Gardnerville, Nev.; Jack (Liz) McGeein of Gardnerville, Nev.; Mary McGeein of Austin, Texas; and Jim McGeein of Bozeman. She is survived by Leo's three children, Karla (Shelby) Ahart of Little Rock, Ark.; Carol Keller of San Luis Obispo, Calif.; and Mike (Tanya) Keller of Arizona. Donna's 25 grandchildren, 24 great-grandchildren and one great-great-grandchild brought her many years of joy, love, and laughter. She was preceded in death by her parents, John and Mary McDonald; her husband, James McGeein; her sister, Audrey Sherman and Audrey's son, Craig and daughter, Cathy. Also, her uncle, Pat Stubeck, who was raised in her home like her brother and her beloved cousin, Barbara.
Visitation, Rosary and Vigil will be held on Tuesday, Aug. 7 at 5:30 p.m. at Dahl's Funeral Chapel.
Catholic Funeral Mass led by Father Leo Proxell will be held on Wednesday, Aug. 8 at 10 a.m. at Resurrection University Catholic Parish, followed by a luncheon for all.
Graveside services will be held on Thursday, Aug. 9 at 10 a.m. at Sunset Hills Cemetery.
Memorial contributions may be made in Donna's name to the Southwest Montana Hospice Care of Bozeman Deaconess or
Donna's family would like to thank all of those who cared for her at Spring Creek, Southwest Montana Hospice Care, Gallatin Rest Home and those who pray for her at this time.
Donna drew strength from the spirituality and mediations of Julian of Norwich. In closing, one of her favorite quotes, "In His love He clothes us, enfolds and embraces us; that tender love completely surrounds us, never to leave us."
Condolences and memories may be shared with the family at www.dahlcares.com.
Dahl Funeral Chapel
300 Highland Boulevard
Bozeman, MT 59715
Published in Bozeman Daily Chronicle on Aug. 5, 2012