Donnalee Rose Marie (Messmer) Swenumson

May 22, 1931 ~ February 8, 2018 (age 86)

Donnalee Rose Marie (Messmer) Swenumson, 86, of Livingston, Montana passed away on Thursday, February 8th, 2018 at her home. Cremation has taken place; and a memorial service will be held 1:00 P.M., on Friday, February, 16 at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, 327 S 12th St, Livingston with Reverend Paul Stern Officiating. A reception will follow the service at the church.

            Memorials are preferred to the Yellowstone Club of Livingston, (send in the care of the Livingston Library), 228 W Callender St, Livingston, MT 59047, or St. Paul’s Lutheran Church.

            Donnalee was born on May 22, 1931 in Miles City, MT; the daughter of Frank and Mamie (Green) Messmer. During WWII she and her parents moved to Seattle, WA while her father was engaged in defense construction projects.  Following the end of the war, the family relocated to Bozeman, MT where her father continued in the construction field. She attended and was a graduate of Holy Rosary High School in Bozeman.

            She married Daniel Sweeney, a USAF pilot, and for 20 years she served as a faithful homemaker and wife. In 1969 she and her children moved to Bozeman.

            In 1975 Donnalee was united in marriage to Jon Swenumson in Bozeman. Donnalee was a proud graduate of MSU in the field of education. She then embarked on a 20-year career teaching in various schools around Montana. Her favorite positions were in the rural country schools, including, La Motte near Bozeman, Melville in Sweetgrass County and the Cleveland school near Chinook. She also taught grade and middle school students in Colstrip and Chinook, MT. Donnalee was passionate with sports and very active with extracurricular activities at each school where she coached track and field, basketball, and softball.

            In 1995 she and Jon retired to Livingston where she was active in the Yellowstone Club of Livingston and too many bridge groups to keep track of.

            She was a talented gardener and was proud of her beautiful flowers both inside the home and out. She was an avid and knowledgeable sports enthusiast following all teams from Montana State University; to basketball with Duke and Gonzaga; football from New England to Denver and the Chicago Cubs in Baseball.

            For many years she and Jon would attend baseball spring training games and the regular season games from Seattle to Boston.

            She enjoyed traveling, especially the trip she took to Norway to gather with many Swenumson relatives.

               She was an amazing cook.  Showing love for family with wonderful meals every holiday. Her recipes are cherished and her laughter from a crowded kitchen always remembered.

            Donnalee is survived by her husband of 42 years, Jon; children, Sharman Wright of Livingston, Michael Sweeney of Bozeman, and Jan Marie Sweeney of Livingston; 7 grandchildren and 4 great-grandchildren; siblings, Susan Williams of Canada and Stephen Messmer of Livingston; and dear friend, Naomi Johnson.  

            She is preceded in death by: two daughters,  Shannon Terry and Shawn Sweeney, her brother, James, and her parents.

Arrangements are under the care of Franzen-Davis Funeral Home and Crematory.

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