Arlene J. Donahue
1925 - 2021

Arlene J. Donahue

SILVER CITY | Arlene Joy Donahue, 95, passed away on Jan. 6, 2021 at Peaceful Pines Senior Living Community in Rapid City. She leaves behind many cherished memories and her family and many friends that are forever blessed to have been a part of her life.

Arlene Joy Amy was born on Feb. 12, 1925 to Oren and Ida (Jorgensen) Amy in Canistota, SD, joining one older sister, Bonnie. Arlene spent all of her early years growing up in Wessington Springs, where her father and mother ran the local grocery store. She shared many fond memories and stories about time spent at the store with her parents and sister.

After graduating high school from Wessington Springs, Arlene attended Yankton College, where she became the first Mrs. Pioneer. While attending college, she met John "Jack" William Donahue, and they were united in marriage on July 8, 1945. To this union, they added three children, William John, Patricia Amy, and Julie Kay. Arlene graduated with an Education and Vocal Music Degree, which she used to influence many students and prospering vocalists.

Arlene spent many years teaching with her husband, Jack, in the Pickstown, Onida, and Murdo communities. While teaching in Murdo, Arlene taught English and Vocal Music. Her love for music was inspiring and continues to live on through future generations. Arlene and Jack began building their future retirement home in Silver City, nestled in the beautiful Black Hills. This cabin became the gathering place for many family reunions and will always hold a special place in everyone's hearts. Arlene loved to garden, plant flowers, play cards, go golfing, and was known for her amazing storytelling abilities and her genuine laughter. Arlene and Jack lived in Silver City until they relocated to Rapid City in 2012.

Left to mourn her passing are her children, Bill (Victoria) Donahue of Silver City, Pat (John) Brunskill of Murdo, and Julie Wagner of Boise, ID; seven grandchildren; many great-grandchildren; and a host of nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her loving husband, Jack Donahue; parents, Oren and Ida Amy; sister, Bonnie and her husband, Jack Robinson; son-in-law, Steve Wagner; and grandchildren, Bonnie Kay Brunskill and Meghan Elizabeth (Brunskill) Newsam.

A private family service will be held on Thursday, Jan. 14, at Kinkade Funeral Chapel in Sturgis, along with services for the love of her life, Jack, who passed away on Dec. 14, 2019. Committal services will follow for both Arlene and Jack at Black Hills National Cemetery. The services will be livestreamed at 11 a.m. on the Kinkade Funeral Chapel Facebook page.

Condolences may be sent to the family at

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Published by Rapid City Journal on Jan. 13, 2021.
livestreamed on the Kinkade Funeral Chapel Facebook page
Funeral services provided by:
Kinkade Funeral Chapel
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Oh, how the memories come flooding back-from all my years in Onida ( class of `62), to Yankton College (encouraged to attend by both Arlene and Jack), and visits to Silver City with my folks! What wonderful lives they led, and legacies they both leave us! Sending prayers and sympathy. Carol (Dunlap) Kortan
Carol (Dunlap) Kortan
January 13, 2021