Donna Ingersoll (1962 - 2018)

32 entries | 1 photo
  • "Donna and I met and bonded in kindergarten at University..."
    - Carol Wilbur
  • "I went to grade school and Jr. High with Donna. I am sorry..."
    - Patti Slater
  • "Condolences to the Neidhold family, as I am shocked to hear..."
  • " My condolences goes out to the family during this..."
    - J H
  • "I am so sorry for your loss - I can remember her vibrancy..."
    - Cheryl Sackett
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The world has lost a shining star. On Sept. 5, 2018, after a two-year battle with leukemia, Donna Ingersoll, age 56, wife, mother, sister, coach, teacher and beloved friend, departed this earth surrounded by love and family.
Born and raised in Fairbanks, Alaska, by Bud and Jane Neidhold, she spent her childhood camping and fishing with her family, playing with her siblings, riding horses through the woods and bombing down the slopes of Skiland and Cleary Summit. An accomplished athlete, she excelled at many sports, but her true passion was gymnastics. This love of sports and the thrill of competition led Donna to pursue a degree in physical education. While attending the University of Alaska Fairbanks, she met, fell in love with and later married her husband of 26 years, Jim Ingersoll.
Donna graduated from UAF in 1986 with a degree in physical education and was immediately hired to teach PE at her alma mater, West Valley High School. In addition to teaching, she coached gymnastics at both the high school and community school levels.
After her marriage in 1992, Donna and Jim relocated to the Matanuska Valley, where she found her dream job as a Junior Olympic Gymnastics Coach at Denali Gymnastics Academy. For 17 years she coached and mentored hundreds of young gymnasts, helping them build their skills, face down their fears and grow into confident young women.
In fall 2009, Donna left one gym for another, taking a position as a PE teacher with the Matanuska-Susitna Borough School District.
As an educator, Donna displayed a rare combination of authority, mentorship and friendship that the students and athletes she worked with came to appreciate. Though her methods were not always politically correct, or accepted by her colleagues, the genuineness and heartfelt concern she displayed towards the young people she worked with endeared her to them. This in turn led to many lifelong friendships.
Donna liked nothing more than to be outdoors. Be it hiking, biking, skiing, skating, gardening, fishing, picking berries, taking long walks with her wire-haired pointer, Skidmore, and later, Kaizer, or sitting around a camp fire with friends - if it was outdoors, Donna was there. Donna would want those who cared about her and wish to honor her memory to go spend some time outside enjoying nature, preferably with people they love.
Donna is predeceased by her parents, Bud and Jane Neidhold; mother-in-law, Patricia Ingersoll; and brother, Leonard Neidhold. Donna is survived by her husband, Jim; son, Brady; daughter, Danika; sister, Katie Shira (Doug); brother, Mark Neidhold (Maren Having); sisters-in-law, Caryn Neidhold and Kathy Gray; brother-in-law, Mike Ingersoll; father-in-law, Charles Ingersoll; and many nieces and nephews.
A celebration of life will take place at a later date.
Published in Anchorage Daily News from Sept. 13 to Sept. 14, 2018