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Donna L. McIlnay (nee House)

November 17, 1927 March 12, 2019
Donna L. McIlnay (nee House)
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Obituary for Donna L. McIlnay (nee House)

Donna L. McIlnay (nee House) passed away on March 12, 2019, at her home in Grafton, where she lived the last several years with her son and daughter. Donna was born on November 17, 1927, on her grandfather’s farm just outside Lake Delton, Wisconsin. She was the only daughter of Harry and Jane (Richards) House. Donna was proud that she was the Class Salutatorian of 1945 at Baraboo High School and had very found memories of growing up in Baraboo.

Donna trained to become a Registered Nurse at the nursing school attached to Madison General Hospital, from which she graduated in 1949. She then started what would be a life-long vocation in home-healthcare with the Visiting Nurse Association on Madison. Donna would continue in the home-healthcare field until her first retirement from Catholic Charities of Kansas City in 1992. Her retirement did not last long, and she soon went back to work for a podiatrist and continued in that position until she was age 81.

Donna married Ronald McIlnay on February 14, 1952, in Madison, Wisconsin. Ron had just been inducted into the United States Marine Corps, and for several years Donna worked as a visiting nurse in rural North Carolina. She could never quite get over the snakes they had in North Carolina.

Ron and Donna had two children, Bruce born in 1958, and Sandy born in 1960. Ron died in 2015, and Donna moved to Grafton to live with her Bruce in 2016. In 2017, Sandy took early retirement and came to live with Donna and Bruce so she could care for Donna full-time. Donna enjoyed Grafton and being close to her three grandchildren, Shayna Broadwell (Jason) of Wauwatosa, Ian McIlnay of Oshkosh, and Ainsley McIlnay of Milwaukee. Donna especially enjoyed one-on-one time with her great-grandson, Jaxon.

Her family will miss her but take comfort that she had time to share her memories with them and left this life knowing that she was deeply loved. The love her family feels for her reflects the generous love and sacrifices she always gave to, and made for, her family.

Please do not send flowers as the family is planning to establish a memorial gift in her honor. Further details regarding her memorial and private services will be shared with family in friends in the coming weeks.


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