In Memory of Lois M. Donatell

February 17, 1933 - August 11, 2017

February 17, 1933  -  August 11, 2017

Lois Marie Donatell passed away on August 11, 2017 after 84 years of love, strength, and an unfailing determination to create a good life for herself and those she loved.

Lois’s life began on February 17, 1933. She was born in the township of Beaver Brook located in Washburn County near Shell Lake, Wisconsin. Lois was the second of six children born to Sidney Aukema and Floy (Hills) Aukema. 

On March 21, 1953, Lois married Gene O. Donatell in Spooner, Wisconsin. Lois and Gene were married for 21 years and celebrated the birth of three children, Vicki, Danny, and Dale.

During her lifetime, Lois embraced a strong work ethic and a love of life-long learning. She was a 1950 graduate of Spooner High School and later completed the Gregg Court Reporting Course.

Lois’s Court Reporting career began in 1962 and spanned an impressive twenty-five years. She served as Official Court Reporter in Washburn County, Wisconsin with Honorable Judge Ward Winton until 1965 and Honorable Judge Warren Winton until 1980.  Later in her career, Lois also worked as Official Court Reporter in Kenosha County, Wisconsin.

Lois married the light of her life, husband Bennett “JR” Wheeler Jr., on October 10, 1999.  Lois and JR began their life together by traveling extensively. A highlight of Lois’s life was to visit and explore the province of Friesland in the Netherlands where her grandparents once lived. Lois and JR made their home in Spooner, Wisconsin and also in Tucson, Arizona where they spent the winter months. Over the years they enjoyed gardening together, square dancing, playing cards, and most of all spending time with family and friends.

Lois is survived by her husband of nearly 18 years, Bennett Wheeler and his family, daughter Vicki (Jeffrey) Ernster, son Danny (Elizabeth) Donatell, and grandchildren Scott Ernster, Jaime (Luke) Anderson, Edward (Olivia) Donatell, Gregory Donatell, Destiny Donatell and four great-grandchildren. She is also survived by brothers Richard (Murtice) Aukema, Ronald (Ruby) Aukema, Stanley (Terry) Aukema, and her sister Teresa Aukema Baker as well as cousins, nieces, and nephews.

Lois was preceded in death by her parents, former husband Gene Donatell, son Dale Donatell,       brother Roger Aukema, niece Mindy Baker, and nephew Damon Aukema.

A Memorial Service for Lois will be held on Monday, August 21, 2017 at 11:00 a.m. at the United Methodist Church in Spooner, Wisconsin with Pastor Jack Starr officiating. Visitation will be held on Monday at 10:00 a.m. at the Church. Interment will follow at the Calvary Cemetery.

In honor of Lois, memorial contributions may be sent to the Washburn County Food Pantry located in Spooner, Wisconsin.

Lois will be remembered for her boundless energy, love of family, and courage to face life’s difficult challenges.

Last Update: Dec 16, 2018 5:42 pm CST

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