Donna Marie Mahutga, age 95, of Howard, died Thursday, October 22, 2020, at the Good Samaritan Society in Howard. No services are planned at this time. Inurnment will be held at a later date.
Donna Wade was born March 14, 1925, in the Midland, SD area. She grew up on a farm in that area the oldest of 11 children. She married Ray Poulson in 1943, and had two children, Susan and James. They were later divorced. Donna married Victor Mahutga in 1949, and together they had three children, Richard, Michael, and Rebecca. They divorced in 1976.
Donna spent her teaching career with the Stanley County School District starting in country schoolhouses throughout the county. She later became the secondary education art instructor based in Ft. Pierre. This position still lent itself to country school teaching as she spent one day per week traveling to the four remaining “one-room schoolhouses” in Stanley County. She spent many years as a substitute teacher after her official retirement.
Donna was an avid gardener having both a large vegetable garden and many flower beds at her home in Ft. Pierre. She cultivated many varieties of fruit trees and grapevines as well. She enjoyed many various crafting projects and was often found crocheting in her spare time.
Donna also had a true love of reading. There was never a time she was not engrossed in the pages of a novel. Once her eyesight began to fail she discovered books on tape.
Donna moved to the Howard area in 1996 where she joined her son Jim and his wife Carla, on an acreage southeast of town. Jim’s son Chuck and wife Heather soon joined the “Poulson Compound.” This also brought her closer to her son Rick and his wife Cindy and their children, Ryan and Justin, who live in the Baltic, SD area.
Donna is survived by her son Richard (Cindy) Mahutga; daughter Rebecca Lawhon; grandchildren David, Charles, Deanna, Robyn, Ryan, Justin, Amy, Karen, Matthew, Megan; and several great-grandchildren.
She was preceded in death by three children, Susan, James, and Michael; and four siblings.