Donna Lynne Michels

Donna Lynne Michels

ALBUQUERQUE, NM – Donna Lynne Michels, died October 6, 2020, in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

She was born in 1938, in Hancock, Michigan, to Mafalda and Frederick Michels. Donna grew up in Ishpeming, Michigan and graduated from Ishpeming High School, Class of 1956.

In 1959, Donna married Fred Walli and they lived in Houghton, MI until 1961. By 1965, Fred and Donna, and their growing family of Ernest, Maria and Kate, had lived in many places, Houghton, MI, Jackson Hole, WY, Baltimore, MD, Washington D.C., Brownsville, TN, Elizabethtown, KY, San Francisco, CA and Lansing, MI. Fred moved his family to Springfield, IL in 1971, where their fourth child, Matt was born. In 1975, the family moved to Homewood, IL.

Donna earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in 1982 and her Master of Arts degree in 1987 from the College of Arts and Sciences, Governors State University in University Park, IL.

oDonna Michels and Michael Hinko were married on January 3rd 1990, in Chicago, Illinois. They wanted to be by each other’s side, and they shared many happy moments over the next three decades.

Donna was an instructor at St. Xavier University, Chicago, Illinois and Governors State University, University Park, Illinois. She taught English Composition, Literature and Poetry. Donna’s love of poetry led to her participation in the development of a distance learning poetry course, used by service members aboard submarines.

She had a lifelong love affair with books, simultaneously reading several, and discussing them with close friends and family. After concluding her teaching career, she worked at Poplar Creek Library in Streamwood, Illinois. She wrote and published a book titled “Not The Whole Story. Ernest, Maria, Kate, and Matt. 1960 – 1980.” The book draws upon excerpts from letters and journal entries to tell the story of her children’s young lives.

Donna played the piano nearly every day. Being able to play a Scott Joplin rag at age 82 was quite an accomplishment. She enjoyed gardening. Her many homes were surrounded by beautiful settings of flowers and herbs. And she traveled extensively, both domestically and internationally. She enjoyed trips to Europe, visiting with family members still residing there.

Donna and Michael retired to Albuquerque. There she had the opportunity to frequently visit with her children and grandchildren. Also, Donna enrolled at University of New Mexico and completed two semesters of Italian Language studies.

Donna will be missed for her loyalty in friendship, and her intellectual curiosity which was tempered by a delightful, wry sense of humor. She had a love and appreciation of music and literature, and a dedication to lifelong learning.

Donna was preceded in death by her former husband: Fred Walli.

She will be dearly missed by her husband: Michael, by her younger sisters: Jeannette Michels Berke of Denver, CO and Margaret Ann Kenney (Rafe) of Shepherdsville, KY, by her four children, son: Ernest Thomas Walli of Albuquerque, NM, daughter: Maria Celene Michels of Sandia Park, NM and grandchildren: Alexis Kenney and Scott Maxwell MacLennan, daughter: Katherine Sue Dufresne (David) of Albuquerque, NM and grandchildren: Valerie Strong and Logan Strong, and son: Matthew Michels Walli (Elissa) of Lexington, KY and grandchildren: Morgan Walli and Anamei Walli, and lifelong friend: Susan Bussiere Blomgren.

Memorial considerations in Donna’s name may be directed to the Ishpeming Carnegie Public Library, 317 N. Main St., Ishpeming, MI 49849