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Donna Marie Path, 97, of Sparta died on Thursday, November 9, 2023 Morrow Home, in Sparta. She was born on May 16, 1926 to Earl and Lillian (Sachsenmaier) Brennan, in Glenwood City, WI. She grew up around Glenwood City and Hammond, WI; attending grade school in and around Glenwood City. When she was 14 years old, she went to Bay City, MI and attended High School at St. Joseph Catholic School. She graduated in 1944, then returned to Wisconsin.
She found work in St. Paul, MN as a long-distance telephone operator. She had two special friends, Jeanne Van Doorn, who she attended school with in Bay City; and Rosemary Hellerud, who also worked at the telephone company.
Donna met Emil Path in St. Paul, and they were married on June 22, 1946. They moved to Wilton, WI where Emil was an Ag teacher. In 1952, they moved to Bangor. In 1954, they moved to a farm in Cook Creek, near Ontario, WI. They attended St. Mary’s Ridge Church, where Donna was the President of the PCCW. She assisted Jo Nixon for 3 years as secretary of the Diocese Catholic Women. Donna taught CCD classes at St. Mary’s Ridge for 3 years.
Donna worked at Northern Engraving for 16 years. She also worked at Meca Sportswear in Ontario for 6 years, where they made school jackets. Moving to Sparta in 1983, she got a job in the Sparta Schools Cafeteria, as a cook, as a past time. She decorated cookies and cakes at the Gingerbread House part time, and at Connie’s Just for Kids, fixing meals for the daycare. In 1990, she started working full time in the school. She retired in 2000. A new bakery opened and she worked there for Ann Lentz until she got cancer and quit. She loved to bake and made many wedding cakes for families. She was an active member of St. Patrick’s Catholic Church.
She is survived by 4 daughters, Barb Williams, Jeri (Larry) Schroeder, Karen (Mike) Hanson, and Mary (Mark) Path Fielder; 4 sons, Dennis (Kathy), Douglas (Jan), Thomas (Deanna Hutchinson), and Terrance J. (Joan) Path; sisters, Bertie, Fran, and Lil (Jack Draxler); sister-in-law, Pat Brennan; 21 grandchildren; 41 great-grandchildren; and 3 great great-grandchildren.
Donna was preceded in death by her husband, Emil; infant daughter, Christine; brother, Bill; sister, Shirley; son-in-law, Roger Williams; grandson, Ben Path; brothers-in-law, Lloyd and Bud; and many other family members and friends.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 11 a.m. on Monday, November 13, 2023 at St. Pat’s Catholic Church, Sparta, with Father Eric Berns officiating. Burial will be in St. Pat’s Cemetery, Sparta.
Family and friends are invited to a visitation from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday, November 12, 2023 at Lanham-Schanhofer Funeral Home and Cremation, Sparta, and 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. on Monday at the church. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to St. Patrick’s Catholic Church, Sparta. Online condolences may be offered at www.schanhoferfh.com
Lanham-Schanhofer Funeral Home and Cremation, Sparta, is assisting the family with funeral arrangements.