It is with profound sadness, we announce that after a courageous and inspirational 2-year battle with Cancer, Donna (58) passed away at 11:15 am Winnipeg Time, Monday October 18, 2021.
She transitioned very peacefully at home in her bed, surrounded by family, friends, her dogs and immeasurable LOVE. It was only one week before, that she realized she had finally lost the battle with the beast but was exceptionally grateful for the gift of determining her own destiny. She left this world truly excited she was going to a better and much happier place, void of suffering.
During her final journey, Donna was surrounded by many of her favorite things: Winnipeg Jets gear, Puerto Vallarta souvenirs, pictures of those who predeceased her: Mom, Dad and her always cherished dog Lexi. She was encircled by many flowers from friends, with vibrant yellow rose petals scattered on her bed and on top of her. It was a very, very beautiful departure. Left to mourn is her son Alex Wall (Tola), grandson Xander (1), brother Douglas Wonnick (Paulette Boucher), fur babies Lily (13), Louie (9) and the love of her life Clay Cracklen.
We extend Heartfelt gratitude to her girlfriends and besties Dawn Shipman (Harold Kraft) from Calgary, Kim DeKlyver (Peter), Corinne Komishon (Glen), Denise Jackson, and 1st cousins and Serena Holland (Ian) and Starra Slykerman, all of whom were present during Donna’s departure. Additional gratitude to the countless friends and family who visited with Donna, in person or by phone, during the last weeks of her life.
Donna significantly touched many people’s hearts during her life, as evidenced by the dozens of tributes on social media and by text, received following the notification of her passing. Accolades included amazing, special, funny, sweet, kind, beautiful, wonderful, strong, down to earth, feisty, respected and a warrior.
Donna’s loves and passions included (in no particular order): Her Mom, her many friends across North America, her dogs, 5D Diamond Painting, the Winnipeg Jets, Puerto Vallarta Mexico, any dog she ever met, her “dream home” on Ragsdill Rd, caring for her nails, the band Streetheart, watching TV and movies, Clay’s concoctions of Port wine, Irish Coffee and his amateur gourmet cooking which introduced her to many new tastes and flavors, Tea, cribbage, smoking and, of course, Clay. Donna’s dogs were the luckiest canines on the planet as she spoiled them rotten, so much so, that Clay bought her a custom license plate: MAMAPEZ, as she was a dog treat Pez dispenser. She joyfully and gladly accepted that nickname.
At 22, Donna birthed a beautiful boy, Alex, who she placed with an incredibly loving family; her Aunt & Uncle in Ontario, who could not conceive. Donna often mentioned she thought about Alex daily and prayed they would eventually find one another. About a year ago, that whimsical dream came true, and Donna visited twice with Alex, his wife Tola, and their first child Xander. She was beyond ecstatic being a grandma of such a handsome baby boy. Her last, glorious, passionate task was completing several 5D Diamond paintings of “Dumbo” that will proudly adorn the walls of Xander’s Disney themed nursery.
During their 10 years together, Donna and Clay shared countless unforgettable experiences including, White Water Rafting in Washington State, a Winnipeg Jets private pregame skate viewing, spending a July 4th on friends Scott & Ginny’s Cabin Cruiser off Tacoma, WA, seeing Queen live with Adam Lambert, and a private swim with the Dolphins in Puerto Vallarta (PV). There were numerous other wonderful PV adventures such as Luxury Sailboat Cruises, the Zoo, experiencing many all-inclusive resorts and making a plethora of friends on the beach, by the pool or in the bar from across North America, many of whom they visited and remained in touch with.
Donna had a very successful career as a passionate Customer Service professional and eventual team leader with firms such as Loblaws, Proctor & Gamble, Sunny Delight Beverages, and most recently ScootAround, where she was the Airlines Division Manager, and helped the firm grow exponentially. Donna’s career even extended beyond Winnipeg, and took her to also live in Calgary, AB, then Cincinnati, OH. She was exceptionally proud that she was the first P&G non-manager to transfer from Canada to the United States. Amazingly, she accomplished all the above with only having earned a High School Diploma.
Donna was diagnosed July 23, 2019, with Stage 4 Lung Cancer with Brain and Lymph Node Metastases. Although her life expectancy was about 6 months, although she didn’t know that until near the end, her inspirational positivity and courage drove her to beat the odds and far exceed everyone’s expectations by living 2 years, 3 months.
We must thank several medical teams who provided state-of-the-art treatments and exceptional and compassionate care:
Cancer Care Manitoba
Dr. Amit Chowdhury (Radiation Oncologist), Rob Richardson (Nurse) - Full Brain Radiation; Dr. Craig Harlos (Medical Oncologist), Marissa Rodriguez (Nurse), Kristie Morydz (Nurse Practitioner) – Immunotherapy; Dr. Jason Beiko (Neurosurgeon), Olive (Nurse) Dr. James Butler (Radiation Oncologist) – Gamma-Knife; Dr. Lawrence Tan (Thoracic Surgeon) lymph node Biopsy surgery; Kathleen Helgason (CancerCare Resource & Library) – Clay’s emotional support; Mike Edwards M.S.W. (Counselor) – Clay’s emotional support; and, numerous support staff and volunteers in CancerCare, and the Radiation, Immunotherapy, Gamma-Knife, MRI, and CT clinics.
Palliative Care Manitoba
Lori Penner (Palliative Care Coordinator), Dr. Ted St. Goddard and Kyja and Angela (Palliative Care Nurses).
Medical Assistance in Dying (MAID) Manitoba
Donna was incredibly fortunate and grateful to be able to say goodbye to everyone in her circle, and they in turn got to say their goodbyes to her, because of the miraculous option of the MAID Manitoba team, who helped Donna transition in a beautiful, compassionate, and peaceful manner, which she was most looking forward to.
In lieu of flowers, please, please donate any amount, in Donna’s name, to any or all of these wonderful medical organizations.
We understand that there are many questions that arise when a death occurs. We are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to answer questions you may have and provide direction. Please call us if you require immediate assistance.