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Born: Oct 31, 1957

Date of Passing: Jul 08, 2021

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October 31, 1957 - July 8, 2021

The sound of the waves washing against the shore. The sound of nieces and nephews knocking at her door. Those and all of Donna's other favourite things are no more.
Donna passed away, with husband Randy and daughter Amber by her side, after a decades-long battle with scleroderma. Quietly and peacefully. At home. The way she wanted.
Donna leaves behind a truly devastated mom, Margaret Hayward, sisters, Debbie Loewen and Wanda Sanness (Todd) and brother Steven. She was predeceased by her brother Les, and father Les, as well as in-laws, Einar and Gudny Palson and brother-in-law Bob Dayment. She will be sadly missed by Vivian and Gerry, Ken and Sheila, Rod and Debbie and an infinite list of adoring cousins, nieces, nephews, friends and neighbours.
None of us will ever know how much pain Donna endured because that was always masked by an amazing smile. For Donna, it was always about everyone else, and she was described by one of her closest friends as "the most selfless person I ever knew". Donna was truly loved by all, and Donna truly loved many things in life...
Family. Her life revolved around her beloved "Ran" and "Am". She would never buy designer clothing for herself but for Amber, it was a whole different story. Every night, she would prepare supper and wait until Randy got home from work, regardless of the hour, to wait and eat with him. Randy's curling team always had the most dedicated fan in the rink, and Donna even learned to cheer for the Habs.
Her mom. The bond they shared took the mother daughter relationship to the ultimate level and there was nothing she wouldn't do for her mom.
Travel. In their 46 years together, some of Randy and Donna's favourite times were visits with Amber in Hawaii and their numerous jaunts to Mexico.
Decorating. She had an impeccable eye for design and colour, creating stunning arrangements and decorations. Several times a year, her home and cottage would both become a living tribute to Christmas, Valentine's, St. Patrick's, Easter and of course, Halloween - her birthday.
Children. From working in a craft store, she went to school to get her teacher's assistant certificate and would become the most cherished TA in several Charleswood schools. That same sentiment was shared by all her nieces and nephews who couldn't wait to get to Aunty Donna's cottage for peanut butter squares, rice crispy cake, bingo games, playing dolls and that closet full of toys and games that was there just for them.
Bargains. Nobody loved a deal like Donna, and there wasn't a garage sale that she wouldn't take on, turning those thousands of visits and hundreds of purchases into cottage decor that was truly inspiring.
Lundar. The community where she was born always remained a huge part of her life. The Easter bazaar, the Christmas bazaar, the farm, the corn roast and her multitude of friends. She was also proud of her grandma's Swedish heritage and proudly volunteered for the Swedish pavilion at Folklorama.
Photography. She had a keen eye for getting that perfect shot, and carefully catalogued those pictures into dozens of for each individual family member.
Television. There wasn't a sitcom or game show she didn't know intimately, there was never enough curling to watch, if Y & R had a fan club she would be a charter member and she also had a front row seat with Randy for Coronation Street...with the volume turned up loud.
Einar Ho. Donna treasured every moment she had at the lake, spending countless hours painting and decorating two cottages with a welcoming feeling that was unparalleled. There was always a distinctive "aloha" theme that stood out, her way of making sure Amber's presence was also felt. Einar Ho will miss everything about Donna.
Leading by example. She never raised her voice. She brought comfort into every conversation and situation with her smile and the sparkle in her eye. And if you ever got the "look", you knew you had crossed the line.
There are some special people to acknowledge. Brendice Price, Barb Greason, Connie Fingland, Weldon and Judy Jensen, her sister Wanda, Debbie Palson and some very special home care workers who became very close friends.
A celebration of Donna's life will be held at a later date.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Scleroderma Manitoba. Details at
Donna's passing will leave an emptiness that can never be replaced. But, that smile. It will never be forgotten.

Rest in peace, dear, darling Donna.

"Aloha means Farewell to thee
Aloha means goodbye
It means until we meet again
Beneath the Tropic Sky
Aloha means good morning
And always to be true
But the best thing Aloha means
I always think of you."
- Love Randy and Amber


As published in Winnipeg Free Press on Jul 17, 2021

Condolences & Memories (10 entries)

  • A brave and beautiful person, always smiling, never complaining, always helpful Many condolences to Randy and Amber - Posted by: Donna Carla Palson (the other Donna Palson) (Relative) on: Sep 29, 2021

  • To say that Donna was a family friend would be an understatement. She was more like a member of our family. When we had a wedding or baby shower, any celebration really, Donna was there. She would engage you in conversation, and always focused on you alone. She knew our family, and our kid’s families too. My favourite thing was to watch Donna and Wanda interact, and how Donna would push her buttons. Always busy, and kind, and generous. I will stop now because I cannot see the keyboard through my tears….Busy hands laid to rest💕 - Posted by: Jodi (Friend/neighbor) on: Sep 15, 2021

  • It is with profound sadness when we heard of Donna's passing. Donna is a very special angel, such a warm and caring lady, always smiling and ready to greet everyone with a friendly hug. Donna touched the hearts of many like only an angel can do. Having lived in Lundar, we totally understand why Donna loved visiting the town where she grew up. As we experienced in our own community, Lundar and area citizens are so caring and friendly, and so proud to have lived there. Randy and Amber will miss her terribly, as will everyone who knew the Palson family. Randy and Donna were an awesome couple, with a very loving daughter. Our condolences to all who knew her and loved her. - Posted by: Lloyd & Jeannette Roche (friend and fan) on: Jul 24, 2021

  • What a beautiful tribute! We are so very sorry for your loss. Donna was the most positive person we’ve ever known. - Posted by: Garry and Doreen Little (Longtime friend. ) on: Jul 21, 2021

  • Dear Palson family, such a lovely tribute to a lovely human! So sorry for you loss, so happy for all the memories you all have. Hug each other tight, love you all. Dawn, Dirk and family - Posted by: DAWN D ODENWALD (niece) on: Jul 20, 2021

  • Sorry for your loss. - Posted by: Debbie Calder (Person) on: Jul 20, 2021

  • To the Palson Family - we have lost a great lady who made us all feel welcome and we will miss her smiling face. Sending our deepest condolences. May family and friends time and memories ease your sorrow RIP Donna 🥲 - Posted by: Debbie and Terry Sigfusson (Friends) on: Jul 17, 2021

  • Real nice tribute to Donna. She was the definition of a genuine good person and a friend and she will be missed. - Posted by: RANDY G. (FRIEND) on: Jul 17, 2021

  • A beautiful obituary .. it’s Donna perfectly. As Amber and Randy loved her it shows here. I will always miss my super friend. She taught how to be brave through pain and rough times. I felt my best when I was with her. I loved creating projects with her. Working alongside her. Learning from her, and laughing with her. Or as she shook her head and laughed at me. Some nuisance I missed. As mentioned her tremendous attention to detail. Once I flew into Winnipeg and was picked up by her at the airport in her loved Saturn sports car. And first thing she said is we have to go look at roofs. I asked why she said the roofers don’t understand what I mean when I say black roof tiles! Lol She had me baffled to then. How do you get over losing someone like Donna. Love to Randy and Amber, I hope we stay in touch. - Posted by: Barbara Greason (Dear friend ( my sister)) on: Jul 17, 2021

  • We are so saddened to read of Donna’s passing. Such a gentle soul who always greeted us with her lovely smile. Our sincere condolences to Randy and Amber, Donna’s family, her many friends and the Palson clan at Einar Ho. Margaret & Grant Ogonowski - Posted by: Margaret Ogonowski (Friend) on: Jul 17, 2021

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