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LaDonna J. Welk, age 85, passed peacefully on December 14th, 2017 at Midland King’s Daughters Home. She was born on April 30, 1932 in Harvey, North Dakota to Gottlieb and Katherine Hieb. The family moved to Kalispell, Montana in the mid-1940s. Donna graduated valedictorian of her high school class and attended college in Missoula before moving to Portland, Oregon.
She married her childhood sweetheart from Harvey, Dr. Richard (Dick) W. Welk, on August 20, 1955 and subsequently resided in Kansas City where Dick graduated from the University of Kansas Medical School. He then trained in Milwaukee before practicing two years in Glasgow, Montana. In 1963 they moved to San Antonio where Dick joined the Army Medical Corps. Several years of military life stateside and abroad ensued. Donna was deeply devoted to home and family. She fearlessly organized epic camping trips all over Europe collecting many prized treasures along the way. The family moved to Midland, Michigan in 1970, where they settled into the only house Dick and Donna ever owned, graduated all five of their children from Dow High School, and sent all along to undergraduate and graduate degrees in medicine, law, education, and business. In 1993, they retired to Seattle, Washington where Dick passed of a sudden heart attack in 1997. Donna started a brave new life, remaining centered around her children and her grandchildren in the years that followed. She returned to Midland in 2014.
Donna was preceded in death by her parents and beloved husband. She is survived by her younger brother, David, and five children – Dr. Richard A. Welk of Seattle, Washington (Aya Hamilton); Diane K. Welk of Midland, Michigan (Thomas Noyle); Marcia L. Welk of Denver, Colorado (Mark Johnson); Dr. Leslie A. Welk of Scottsdale, Arizona (Dr. Brian Frohna); and Dawn W. Wise of Dexter, Michigan (Dustin Wise). Also remaining are six grandchildren and 5 step-grandchildren, all of whom brought her immense joy and gave her a constant reason to shop for "surprises."
A Memorial Liturgy will be at 11:00 AM on Monday, January 22, 2018 at Blessed Sacrament Parish in Midland with Fr. Kevin Maksym officiating. The family will greet friends at the church from 10:00 AM until the time of service.
The Welk family extends heartfelt gratitude to all of the staff at King’s Daughters Home for their love, attentiveness, and care.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made in LaDonna’s name to Midland King’s Daughters Home or the Alzheimer’s Association.
Online condolences may be left at smithminer.com.