Donna French

Donna French

December 15th, 1945 - December 2nd, 2018
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Donna J. French, 72, of Watertown, SD, passed away Sunday, December 2, 2018 at Jenkins Living Center.

Memorial services will be 2:00 p.m., Thursday, December 6, 2018 at the First Congregational United Church of Christ with Rev. Tom Emanuel officiating. Music will be provided by Robbyn Givens and Bruce Rhinehart.

Visitation will be from 4-7 p.m., Wednesday, December 5, 2018 at Wight & Comes Funeral Chapel in Watertown.

Honorary Urn-bearers will be Donna's grandsons.

Donna Jean French was born December 15, 1945 to Hike and Evelyn (Phillips) Bruins in Huron, South Dakota. She grew up on her aunt and uncle's farm near Bonilla, South Dakota, graduating from Bonilla High School in 1964. Donna married her high school sweetheart, Gary French on November 27, 1964. Through the years the couple made their home in Aberdeen, Hecla, Columbia, Clear Lake and retired in Watertown. Donna had been a part-time bookkeeper for several companies and also worked in a floral shop.

Donna was a loving wife, mother and grandmother. Donna was a huge Vikings fan. She wore purple and gold with such pride on game day (down to her earrings) to cheer them on. Donna was a big fan of Elvis Presley and enjoyed watching many of his impersonators. She had a dedicated room full of Elvis memorabilia that her family and friends helped her collect.

She loved taking care of her grandsons, camping, fishing, boating, and she was also a NASCAR (Dale Earnhardt Jr.) enthusiast. Donna went to Arizona for the past several years during the winter months. She was able to make it back there for a few days this past November. She absolutely loved it and cherished her time with new friends in Arizona.

She was a member of the First Congregational United Church of Christ and women's fellowship.

Grateful for having shared in Donna's life and will immensely miss her are her husband, the love of her life, Gary French; her children, Gina (Bryan) French of Maplewood, MN, Brenda (James) Purdy of Hudson, WI, Teresa (Travis) Eastman of Dell Rapids, SD; grandsons, Preston and Landon Purdy, Kaeden, Treyse and Drake Eastman; sister-in-law, Anita Rawstern; step-brother, Scott Meyer; and grandpuppies, Diva, Cash, Maverick, Charley, Malibu and Hollister.

Preceding Donna in death are her parents; her Aunt Ann and Uncle Bob Rawstern; one brother, Robert Rawstern; and two brothers-in-law, Ron French and Jim French.

Donna's family expresses their many thanks to Jenkins Living Center during the last days of her life and the care and compassion of Prairie Lakes Hospice.
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Service Details

  • Visitation

    Wednesday December 5th, 2018 | 4:00pm - 7:00pm
    Wednesday December 5th, 2018 4:00pm - 7:00pm
    Wight & Comes Funeral Chapel
    1111 4th St NE
    WATERTOWN, SD 57201
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
  • Service

    Thursday December 6th, 2018 | 2:00pm
    Thursday December 6th, 2018 2:00pm
    First Congregational United Church of Christ
    121 1st Ave SE
    WATERTOWN, SD 57201
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email


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Heartfelt Sympathies

Posted at
D. Hetrick Dear Family, I am so sorry for your loss. May Gods promise bring you comfort. There will be a new earth... and He will wipe out every tear from their eyes, and death will be no more, neither will mourning nor outcry nor pain be anymore... I am making all things new. Revelation 21:1-5 12/10/2018 Terri Deming Gary, Gina, Brenda, and Teresa, Sending you our deepest sympathies and prayers. Aunt Donna was such a bright light in the lives she touched. She has a beautiful soul that will continue on and I know you will be able to feel her energy around you when you need her most! Our lives are so short in comparison to the eternity we live in Heaven. Sincerely, Jason and Terri Deming 12/05/2018 Trudy L Champney Gary, Very sad to hear this. Blessings to you and your family. Trudy 12/04/2018 Janis Eccles words can not express the sadness that I feel. I am so pleased to have met Donna and had her as a friend. 12/03/2018 Ray and Kim Lavallee Donna we will miss you terribly. You were one of the finest women we have ever met. You were fun, funny, sassy and sweet. We love you. May you rest in Gods arms. Condolences to Gary and family 12/03/2018 Butch and Judy Kaaz We will miss Donna. Had a lot of memories , Such a great time spending with her. May God bless you and your family through this time. 12/03/2018 Linda Dailey Oh how I loved this lady!!!! She was a gem!!! We had so many great conversations and laughs over the years. I missed her when they moved to Watertown. She will be missed!!! Our sympathy and hugs to all your family!! 12/03/2018 joan and Russ Porath So sorry to hear of your loss. Prayers to all the family 12/02/2018 John & Sue Schwandt Gary and family so sorry to hear of Donna's passing. What a great lady she was. God be with all of you and help you through this hard time. 12/02/2018

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