Donna Lee (Todd) Handschke
October 11, 2023
Donna Lee (Todd) Handschke of Three Forks passed away on Oct. 09, 2023, surrounded by her family at Spring Creek Inn Memory Care Center in Bozeman, MT. She was born December 15, 1952, in Townsend, MT, to parents Donald Lee "Cotton" Todd and Madeline May (Lane) Todd.
Donna graduated from Three Forks High School and Secretarial School in Bozeman. Throughout the years, Donna worked at the Dew Drop Cafe, Stuckey's, Johnson's Drug Store, and the GTA-Cenex, all in Three Forks. She also worked at the Cowboy Cafe in West Yellowstone and the State of Montana Liquor stores in Three Forks and Bozeman. She started her own business in 1991, where she made woodcrafts and sold them out of her home and at craft shows.
She met her husband, Thomas Victor Handschke, the day he arrived in Montana, having moved from his childhood home in New London, WI. They married on November 11, 1972, and celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary in November of 2022.
Donna had a contagious smile that she passed down to her daughters and grandchildren. She loved being around people, laughing, and playing card and board games. She was a great cook and bequeathed many well-loved recipes to her daughters. And, she was a friend to all strangers, especially if babies or animals were involved.
Donna had a creative heart. She taught herself a variety of art forms, and she mastered them all. She started sewing at a young age, honing her skills making clothes for herself and her family. Some of her best work was seen in the amazing formal dresses and detailed Halloween costumes she made for her daughters, sister, and grandchildren. She went on to woodworking, painting, and so much more. She never lost her love of sewing, though, and eventually found a passion for quilting. Sharing her quilts with family and friends was an expression of her love.
She was sentimental and adored traditions, especially for holidays. She loved time-tested rituals, but she also started new practices with her family. Christmas tree hunting trips, sledding parties, and making holiday crafts were always a hit with family and friends.
Her survivors include her husband Tom, daughters Genava Handschke of Three Forks, MT, and Heather (Handschke) Buchanan (Darcy) of Fruitvale, British Columbia, Canada; grandchildren Briar, Winston, Haizley, and Brooks Buchanan; siblings Robert "Bob" Todd of Three Forks, Michael "Brian" Todd of Three Forks, Craig Todd of Harlem, MT, Marvin Todd (Daveralyn) of Lacey, WA, and Michelle Todd Mahoney of Harlem; brother-in-law Richard Handschke (Joy) of Mazomanie, WI; sisters-in-law Sue Pukall of Crossville, TN, Barb Bressler of Madison, WI, and Vicki Handschke (Joe Strauch) of Kimberly, WI; and numerous nieces and nephews.
Donna was preceded in death by her parents Donald "Cotton" Todd and Madeline (Lane) Todd; parents-in-law Victor and Lorraine Handschke; sister-in-law Linda Todd; brothers-in-law Larry Handschke, Dave Pukall, and Tom Tueber; and nephews Anthony Handschke and Leon Thomas Handschke.
The family is extremely grateful for the caring staff at Spring Creek Inn Memory Care Center and Compassus Hospice Care.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the Alzheimer's Association (https://act.alz.org), Heart of the Valley Animal Shelter (https://www.heartofthevalleyshelter.org), or the Headwaters Trail System (https://www.threeforksmontana.us/headwaters-trail-system).
A viewing will be held at K&L Mortuary in Three Forks on Sunday, Oct. 15, 2023, from 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m., including a time at 4:00 p.m. for friends and family to share memories and stories of Donna.
A service will be held Monday, Oct. 16, 2023, at noon at the Holy Family Catholic Church in Three Forks. Interment will follow at the Fairview Cemetery in Three Forks. Immediately following the burial, a luncheon will be held at the Holy Family Catholic Church parish hall.
K&L Mortuaries & Crematory of Three Forks is in charge of arrangements.